Attempts to calm the crying often turn into awkwardness. You want to support a person, express sympathy and strengthen your relationship, but it is not so easy to decide what is better to say and what to do. Therefore, often we just clumsily pat a person on the back and say some commonplace. We have put together tips for you that really help comfort your loved ones.
1. “Testify” the interlocutor’s feelings
We all know how difficult it is to be in a situation where you need to console someone, but the right words are not found.
Fortunately, more often than not people do not expect specific advice from us. It is important for them to feel that someone understands them, that they are not alone. So first, just describe how you feel. For example, with the help of such phrases: “I know that it’s very difficult for you now”, “I’m sorry that you have such a hard time”. So you will make it clear that you really see what a loved one is right now.
2. Confirm that you understand these feelings.
We need not only to show what we know about the experiences of the interlocutor, but also to confirm that these experiences are also close and understandable to us. To do this, you can share your own experience.
But be careful, do not overtighten yourself, do not try to prove that you were even worse. Mention briefly that you also found yourself in a similar situation, and ask in more detail about the condition of the person you are comforting.
3. Help a loved one figure out a problem
Even if a person is looking for ways to resolve a difficult situation, at first he just needs to talk. This is especially true for women.
So wait for a solution and listen. This will help the one you comfort in understanding your feelings. After all, sometimes it is easier to understand your own experiences, telling others about them. Answering your questions, the interlocutor himself can find some solutions, understand that everything is not as bad as it seems, and just feel relief.
Here are a few phrases and questions that can be used in this case:
- Tell me what happened.
- Say what's bothering you.
- What led to this?
- Help me understand how you feel.
- What scares you the most?
At the same time, try to avoid questions with the word "why," they are too similar to condemnation and only make the interlocutor angry.
4. Do not minimize the suffering of the interlocutor and do not try to make him laugh
When we face the tears of a loved one, we, quite naturally, want to amuse him or convince him that his problems are not so terrible. But what we ourselves think is a trifle can often upset others. Therefore, do not minimize the suffering of another person.
And if someone is really worried about a trifle? Ask if there is any data that diverges from his view of the situation. Then offer your opinion and share an alternative way out. It is very important to clarify whether they want to hear your opinion, without which it may seem too aggressive.
5. Offer physical support, if appropriate.
Sometimes people don’t want to talk at all, they just need to feel that there is a loved one nearby. In such cases, it is not always easy to decide how to behave.
Your actions should correspond to the usual behavior with this or that person. If you are not too close, it will be enough to put your hand on your shoulder or slightly acquire. Also look at the behavior of another person, perhaps he himself will make it clear what he needs.
Remember that you should not be too zealous when comforting a soul mate: a partner can take this for flirting and be offended.
6. Suggest solutions
If a person needs only your support, and not specific advice, the above steps may be enough. Having shared your experiences, your interlocutor will feel relieved.
Ask if you can do something else. If the conversation takes place in the evening, and most often it happens, suggest going to bed. As you know, the morning of the evening is wiser.
If your advice is needed, first ask if the person you are talking to has any ideas. Decisions are made more readily when they come from someone who himself is in a controversial situation. If the person you are comforting has a vague idea of what can be done in his position, help develop concrete steps. If he does not know what to do at all, suggest your options.
If a person is not sad because of a specific event, but because he is depressed, immediately proceed to discuss specific actions that may help. Or offer to do something, for example, go for a walk together. Excessive thoughts will not only not help get rid of depression, but, on the contrary, will aggravate it.