Before blaming, shaming, making assumptions or grand sweeping generalizations…ask. This is a simple way we can help each other along the way…often…not always…but often enough, this one question can make a big difference and has the potential to defuse a situation before it gets out of hand.
If and when you do ask, wait patiently for a reply. No need to fill the silence. When I volunteered as a hospital chaplain, a hospice volunteer explained to me that he always silently counts to ten before continuing the conversation. That silence lets the person know you are sincere and available to listen and a heartfelt conversation usually transpires. You would be amazed by the difference waiting ten seconds (and genuine listening) can make.