how to talk to guests from Ukraine

How to talk to guests from Ukraine

Taking in citizens from Ukraine is one of the most desirable forms of assistance at that time. It is a challenge for both sides, because our guest is not only in a strange house, but also in the country. For us, however, sharing space is associated with support, responsibility and reorganization of our everyday life.

By being responsible for our guest, we understand supporting him not only with a piece of safe space, but also with a conversation, which at this time is extremely important and necessary. However, how to talk to our guest who has experienced an excess of pain, stress, and unfortunately often loss in recent days.

Mental and language barriers

Undeniably, something that can make it difficult for us to contact our guest are his recently experienced traumas, and thus - his unstable psyche. Be patient, listen calmly. Show that you are not indifferent and that his story is important to you. Do not force you to talk, give space, try, but remember that nothing is forced. Give our needy a few days to “get used to” the situation. Answer the questions, knowledge will strengthen our guest's sense of security and belonging. During this time, regardless of your personality, you need to be extremely gentle and patient. Respect the privacy of your guests, but at the same time take care of their needs. Caring and being cared for is something our guests need now.

If, on the other hand, you do not communicate in your guest's language, get an interpreter (in this case, even Google can do it) or a classic dictionary. At the very beginning, you can also ask to learn a few basic words and phrases so that our guest does not feel so alienated and to create a bond with him. You can always ask for help from someone who speaks the language of our guests. Many people are now offering free translation support.

with the needy under one roof
How to help effectively? With the needy under one roof.

What not to talk about?

Are there topics that should be avoided? Let your guest decide for himself what he will talk about, because it depends on his abilities and mental state. Don't force it, don't pull the tongue. Our delicacy and intuition are key to communication. Under no circumstances should you attack your visitor with news from the world, because although awareness is important, too much information can be harmful. Skillfully conduct dialogues, match the vocabulary to the guest and do not ask unnecessary, uncomfortable questions. Ask about the needs, remember that it is important that our guests feel identical with us.

How to talk to a war-experienced child?

Keep in mind that despite being a child, they have experienced more than many adults in their lifetime in the last few days. Adapt your vocabulary to suit your little visitor. Do not underestimate, do not run away from the topic, make sure to add positive elements during the conversation. Let him talk about how I feel. The child at this time is now experiencing a lot of unknown emotions. Pay attention to what you say and what you watch. Don't lie and don't promise the impossible. Avoid drastic details. Provide proven psychological help, because at this time the child may not be able to cope with them due to the excess of stimuli and emotions. In this difficult time, try to give him a scrap of childhood through, for example, contact with his peers.

Joanna Karp