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009: Dr. Julie de Azevedo-Hanks on What TO Say and Not to Say

By February 1, 2017podcast

How do you start a discussion with someone who is on their journey of leaving the church without offending them? Dr. Julie de Azevedo-Hanks and Dr. Kristy Money answer Laura’s questions about how to best approach and draw boundaries when compassionately reaching out to those on a faith journey.

Links from episode:
Circles of Intimacy
100 phrases to say and to NOT say to your loved ones who think/believe differently from you

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2 Comments

  • A Happy Hubby says:

    Thanks Laura for joining in this “all star” cast 😉 and bring up some really good questions.

    I think one way to address if a friend/relative is a bit of an “angry ex-mormon” and brings up issues or makes snide remarks about your beliefs that first you absolutely have the right to say that you feel it is stepping over the lines of politeness. But if you just leave it at that, there is a good chance that either they are going to ratchet it up a notch and become more confrontational to PROVE their point, or it will put more distance in the relationship – or even end it.

    Of course the “I feel you have crossed the line” needs to be done as tactfully as possible (i.e. “To me that comment feels a bit attacking on my beliefs”), but what I think many ex-Mormons are dealing with (and not so well in many cases) is a lack of feeling any empathy from Mormon’s on the emotional issues a faith transition brings. So I have found that if you follow up your, “that comment is across the line” with a statement like, “but I know you are a good person and I feel you like me – and I like you. I would assume some of this is coming from how hard that transition must have been. Can you tell me how you felt during this transition?” That lets them know you still want to be their friend / have a relationship and moves past the “Did you know Joseph did …!!!” and more to sharing emotions. Sharing emotions (usually) strengthens a relationship. It can be good to end it with, “how can I help you?”

    That is a bit of a rosy picture of a conversation, but it would be the best. Which I think a lot of what Dr. Azevedo was trying to accomplish in her “thinks not to say” post a few weeks back (which was VERY good).

    Thanks to you 3 good women for taking the time to record and share this.

  • Brent says:

    Laura mentioned reading an article that said older Mormons are leaving the church over history, Gen X is leaving the church over deception, and younger Mormons are leaving over LGBT issues. Can you provide a link to that article?

    Thank you!

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