This photo of a Delta flight attendant comforting a distressed passenger went viral last week. It was taken by another passenger who observed the flight attendant calmly explaining every noise during a round of turbulence. He kept repeating “Hey, I’ve got you”.
It’s made me think of how we comfort and care for one another when things get overwhelming.
I remember being scared as a kid and being told by my well-intentioned parents “You’re okay”. I didn’t feel okay. It didn’t feel true. I didn’t stop feeling scared.
I remember feeling terrified before a big public presentation and being asked by a colleague “Are you really nervous?” It felt like I had already failed. My nervousness didn’t quiet.
I remember fretting over a big project and being told by a well-meaning boss “Calm down. It is what it is.” I didn’t calm down.
The simplicity of this flight attendant’s expression of empathy is so powerful, don’t you think? He wasn’t telling her what to feel, what to think, what to experience. He was simply connecting to another person and providing an anchor to her in her distress.
Three simple words. And they have so much power.
When has someone said them to you? I’ve Got You. What did it mean to you?
Perhaps you could look for an opportunity to say them to someone today.
Go ahead. Try it. I’ve got you.