5 Ways to Comfort

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

5 Ways to Comfort
When someone reaches out to you, here’s how to give them the comfort they need.

  1. Let them feel.
I get it. They’re hurting, and it sucks to see them hurt. You may want to approach their problems with solutions, but by forcing them to have a “fix-it” mentality in the midst of their pain, you’re not allowing them to feel. And in order for them to maintain a clear enough head to find and/or enact a solution, they need to be given the chance to feel and overcome the pain they are feeling over their problem. If they want to cry, lend them a shoulder. If they want to scream and break things, give them a (healthy) outlet (remember what Augustus did for Isaac in The Fault in Our Stars?). Let the emotion pour out in whatever form they need it too (just make sure no laws and or bones get broken in the process).

2. Lend an ear.
Listen. Just listen. If you need to speak, encourage them to speak more. But stop trying to fix their problems in your head or determine your response. LISTEN. If they wanted your advice, they would ask for it. If not, they probably just want someone to talk to. Be that person.

3. Express empathy.
Let them know that you understand what they’re going through. If you don’t understand, do whatever you need to in order to understand. Try to put yourself in their shoes.

4. Give a hug.
Hugs are healing, the universal magic touch of comfort. Wrap your arms around them like you mean it. Let them feel your love in that hug.

5. Offer to help.

This should be the very last thing you do when you’re trying to comfort someone, but if you honestly have a feasible solution to their problem, a way to help them move forward, by all means, let them know you’d be happy to help. And by help I don’t mean offering them a solution that you think they should enact. I mean a solution that you personally can help out with. Like, say they lost their job and you know somebody who’s currently hiring. You could offer to call that person and give a recommendation. But if you don’t know anybody who’s currently hiring or don’t feel you can give a recommendation, keep your mouth shut. They don’t need your opinions. It’s their life. Let them live it.

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