REASSURING AND ENCOURAGING
Patients are often anxious because the diagnosis is new, they fear severe illness or death, or they worry about the impact on their family. They also may have information from friends or the internet that is not completely true or may even be completely false.
For this reason, we also show that we understand why they are worried – in other words, we show empathy – before we reassure them and give them correct information.
We can reassure by giving solutions.
Our tone of voice can also be reassuring – it can be softer and lower on parts we want to make less important, and stronger and higher on things we want to stress.
BUT be careful! When reassuring someone, it is not usual to actually use the words “reassure” or “assure”.
In fact, in many situations, these kinds of statements might make the speaker sound rather untrustworthy!
Instead, we reassure with indirect language, a reassuring tone of voice, and by using emphasizing language, such as the adverbs ‘definitely’ and ‘certainly’ .
For more on Emphasizing, see this module GRAMMAR Lesson J.
For more on Reassuring, see also Module 4 READING LESSON F Part 1.
Both direct and indirect techniques are used to show encouragement.
1. “I encourage you to…” – We can use the verb “encourage” directly in sentences.
2. Intensifiers or minimisers – these are words like ‘very’, ‘definitely’, ‘certainly’
3. Focus on the positive – we discuss problems and challenges but focus most of our language on positive points and potential solutions.
Warning, Advising, Reassuring or Encouraging?
Instructions: Read the short texts and choose the best response.
TIP: For best marks