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How to communicate with military and veterans: 3 simple rules

After the war, Ukrainians will return to their homes and adapt to a peaceful life. Many defenders find themselves in rear cities already now. However, civilians are often not ready to meet the military.


That is why the Kyivdvoryk Center for Psychology and Development has created a list of 3 simple tips for everyone on how to communicate with the military.


1. Sympathize, but do not pity


Do not say standard phrases like "I understand you" to military personnel and veterans. Remember that you have not lived the experience that a person has, so you can hardly understand it completely. Usually, such phrases can cause irritation and aloofness of a person.


Pity as a reaction can be unpleasant for the military (and for other people as well). The best support is to ask the person how exactly they want to interact with you now. Don't be shy, ask what the person needs, how you can support them.

Psychologists teach Ukrainians to communicate with the military / Photo by Felicia Buitenwerf on Unsplash


2. Be predictable


Soldiers at the front live in constant tension, waiting for danger. So don't add more stress to them, instead create a safe, calm and predictable environment for them.


What does this mean in practice? Control your emotions, warn about all actions in advance, do not arrange unexpected visits, surprises. Also, give the person time to rest when they come on vacation, don't insist on meeting friends, etc.


3. Respect and tolerate the emotions of the military


Defenders can experience a wide range of negative emotions: irritation, anger, apathy, etc. You need to remember that all emotions are normal.

"Military personnel can behave as if they are not happy to be at home and see their relatives. This is only a sign that a person has not yet had time to adapt to other conditions", – experts say.

It is important to understand that military personnel who have come home on leave are, as it were, divided between two opposite worlds. This can cause complex reactions and emotions in them.

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