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How to Say it When You Don't Know What to Say: The Right Words For Difficult Times Paperback – May 4, 2004

4.8 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Ms. Kaplan's starting point is that support is always appropriate. Careful listening can be more helpful than gilded sentiments." -- Dallas Morning News, August 1, 2004

"Words as a balm." -- Chicago Tribune, April 25, 2004

ASK AMY recommends: "For more information and inspiration, read ‘How to Say It When You Don’t Know What to Say.’" -- Washington Post, November 28, 2005

About the Author

Robbie Miller Kaplan is a nationally-recognized author and trainer on career communications. Her latest book, "How To Say It® When You Don’t Know What To Say: The Right Words for Difficult Times" focuses on a different facet of communications – what to say and what to do to provide comfort during times of loss. She is the author of nine books, including: "How to Say It In Your Job Search." She frequently speaks and lectures to corporate, government, and nonprofit organizations.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall Press (April 27, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 073520375X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0735203754
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #603,621 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
From Harold Kuschner we received the book "When Bad Things Happen to Good People." Emphasis on the word "when." Because the question is not "why" nor do we wonder "if." We know that within the human experience there is suffering. Robbie Miller Kaplan's book "How to Say It When You Don't Know What to Say" takes this basic tenet a step beyond.
"How to Say It..." brings to the table an enormous amount of research and some good old common sense about how to respond to those who are suffering. What we learn is not only what and what not to say and how and how not to say it at these often painful times, but what we also begin to understand is why we respond the way we do. What we start to realize is that other people's suffering often makes us uncomfortable at times and therefore we may feel the need to be cheerful or try to "fix" things or to simply ignore the situation entirely.
Ms. Kaplan's book is loaded with great advice, but just as importantly, it gives one the feeling that we've all been through hardships, that we're all in this together, and that we all have the power to be helpful to one another in our times of need. This book is a must-read for clergy, people in health professions and anyone who wants to know how s/he may contribute to the healing process of another.
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Format: Paperback
An invaluable resource for clergy,mental health professionals, EVERYONE! I will keep several copies on my nearest bookshelf so I can share it with congregants and friends. Ms. Kaplan deals with every conceivable tragedy/disappointment which life thrusts upon us, and helps us help others to cope in times of despair. What a sensitive and compassionate book!
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Format: Paperback
This book is a phenomenal guide to finding the perfect words when you want to provide support in the ideal way. As we all know, some situations require a careful approach, some people have delicate sensitivities, and some of life's trials are beyond our comprehension. Especially with loved ones often living so far away, your words may be all you can give. In professional settings where hugs are not appropriate or natural, it's so important to know what to say and how to say it. Robbie Kaplan's book provides the right words, in the perfect way, so that you can be the kind of friend or relative, supportive colleague or neighbor, that you want to be. Highly recommended for all, since the best thing we can do for the people we love is support them...and words are what stay with us the longest.
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Format: Paperback
Robbie Kaplan has given us the right words to say for just about every difficult situation imaginable. Her wise and compassionate advice will help anyone give comfort whenever and wherever needed.
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Format: Paperback
For someone working in the world of non-profits and charities, I found this book a helpful tool in dealing with many situations where you want to offer comfort to people who are facing difficult or challenging circumstances. The book offers helpful advice, examples and even sample letters for a wide variety of situations. Robbie Miller Kaplan uses her own experiences as well as consultations with many professionals to create a thoughtfull resource for anyone working in the helping professions.
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A Kid's Review on November 15, 2005
Format: Paperback
Divorce. Scandal. Suicide. So many awkward times leave you speechless -- or worse fearing you'll say the wrong thing. Fortunately, Kaplan's kind yet no-nonsense book gives you the power to speak -- and help those you love when they're hurting. It's a must-read for tough times.
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Format: Paperback
All of us face those moments in our lives when we just don't know what to say to someone because of the pain or awkwardness of the situation. Robbie Kaplan gives us honest and practical ways to handle those moments. As a mother who courageously faced the sequential deaths of her two newborn children, she understands at a very personal level how people's inability to handle these situations robs friends and family of the support and comfort they need at the times they need it most. Just as she turned her own pain into a lesson in life, this book is a valuable learning experience for all of us. This is the "Miss Manners" of difficult human situations.
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Format: Paperback
We all have times when, hearing about a friend's misfortune, we just want to hide under a blanket and curse the darkness. Hiding out won't help that friend (or the relationship,)though, and now Robbie Miller Kaplan has written a guidebook that will get even the most reluctant out to say or do the right thing. Whether it's a struggle with infertility or the ego blow of job loss, Kaplan lets us know what to say and do (together with toxic words to avoid) so we can both keep foot out of mouth and help that person heal.

This is a must-have book for those things we'd rather not think about-- filled with wisdom, resources and practical examples.
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