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Communicating with your loved one who’s just been diagnosed with Vitiligo

Pic Courtesy - valda_divi

Without a doubt, communication is the most important skill any human being can have. But, when your loved one is dealing with the pushes and pulls of vitiligo, ‘what you say and how you say it’ matters. 

In this blog, we are going to share some communication lessons that I have learned as a vitiligo fighter, the hard way. These ideas will help your loved one feel emotionally strong, helping him/her not to be affected by negativity in vitiligo

1. Listen

Listening (not just hearing) is the most powerful tool to show respect and build trust while your loved one is dealing with the fear of the unknown in vitiligo. As rightly said by Michael P. Nichols – “Listening is the art by which we use empathy to reach across space between us.” With careful listening, you will be able to build a connection with your loved one who is now more vulnerable and prone to distancing him/herself from you. It’s this connection that will enable you to deal with vitiligo creatively.

Using phrases like “Right…” and “I understand…” serves the purpose of letting your loved one know that you “get” what he/she is going through. 

2. Be Transparent

Successful communication work toward a common goal – transparency. Rather than beating around the bush, be straightforward in your communication. It will pull your loved one from getting used to self-pity in vitiligo.   

 3. Make challenging conversations your priority

By delaying tough discussions (like giving Narrowband UVB Therapy a try), you are at the risk of allowing your loved one to turn anxious. So, it’s best to put challenging conversations at the front-end. While navigating such conversations, make the most of Emotional Intelligence, which is rooted in your ability to understand, interpret, and respond to the emotions of your loved one. 

4. Use the power of words wisely

The power of words grows as your loved one’s vitiligo progresses. So, don’t use words that may push him/her into a ‘victim’ mode. Usage of words like “I want …” or “You need to …” will quickly trigger defensive responses. It’s best to be careful with words that deem vitiligo a problem. Also, refrain from asking too many questions.

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