How to comfort a friend in difficult times?
Your friend may have various reasons for grief. Whether it is because of the heartbreaking loss of a loved one, because of parting with a loved one, or because of problems at work. But you should know how to comfort your friend anyway. After all, you will not stand aside, and you will definitely want to help him. You just need to understand that in some situations, in order for your friend to return to their previous state, it may take him some time. And although a conversation with a person who is in a difficult situation may not be easy, the support of friends and loved ones can help him feel love and care.
Myths about the art of consolation
There are many myths about comforting people who are overwhelmed by grief or in a difficult situation. We will look at three of the most common misconceptions. So that you can avoid these pitfalls and give your friend the true support he or she deserves.
1. Write a private message
Even if you are in another country, it may be hesitant to send a friend only messages directed to support him. In most cases, it won’t help him, and it will seem a little pointless. Especially when you write something like, “Don’t worry, everything will be fine! And let me know if you want to talk about it. ” And even if your friend really wants to talk to someone, such a message is more embarrassing than offering help. So don’t do it. And try to give him real support. And if you cannot come to him because of the distance, then at least call.
2. Hugs can help him
Hugs are considered the most common way to comfort a friend, but in reality, this closeness only lasts for a few minutes. Then you part, and the person is left alone with his problems. Therefore, if you can be with him for a long time, then provide the really necessary help.
3. You need to prepare a speech in advance
You don’t need to be good at speaking to comfort your friend. Indeed, at this moment you will only be together. So there is no need to rehearse any speech and speak as if you are on stage. Stay true to your feelings and don’t be ashamed to confess if you don’t know what to say. Sometimes this creates a kind of sobering effect on the person.
How to comfort a friend
Here’s our list of tips you should take to comfort your friend in times of need. All of these methods are well proven and have been presented to us by experienced psychology and relationship experts.
1. Listen to a friend first
Wherever you are, next to your friend or just talking to him on the phone. You must first learn to listen to him without interrupting or imposing your opinion about the situation. Let your friend pour out his soul completely, and when he runs out of words, then he will be ready to help you.
2. Let him cry
Overcoming loss or accepting failure can be really difficult. Therefore, one should not expect that a person will be able to experience it without any emotion. Remind your friend not to hide your emotions, and crying can bring him real relief and peace of mind.
3. Take him on a journey
If your friend’s grief is somehow related to where he lives, then try to do your best and help him move to another place so that he calms down as quickly as possible. You can travel with him to another city or country. Travel with him as long as necessary so that the friend overcomes the grief and is ready to return home again.
4. Go shopping with him
As strange as it sounds, spending money on what your friend likes can be a good remedy for any problem. Just try to choose the right time, and avoid the most crowded places, as it can be too stressful and less rewarding for him.
5. Offer specific help
The next way to comfort your friend is to offer specific help. Practical suggestions for help are often more helpful than general ones. For example, if your friend is in a difficult emotional state and doesn’t want to do anything, you can offer him to cook dinner, clean the apartment, or go shopping. Then the person will really appreciate the specific help and support. So be sure to ask how you can help.
6. Be careful with what you say
It’s understandable that you want to empathize with your friend, but sometimes it can be better to remain silent than to say inappropriate phrases. Don’t think about the past, and try to avoid the topic that your friend is worried about. And by all means, try not to provoke more suffering.
7. Invite him to meet other friends
If you want to comfort your friend, ask your mutual acquaintances who are really close to your friend to show that he is not alone. When you are together, you will have a better chance of helping a friend. And you can resort to the help of acquaintances if your methods don’t work.
8. Make your friend laugh again
This is probably the most effective way to comfort a friend. Humor helps in any situation. And the moment you see the smile on your friend’s face again. Only then can you be sure that your mission is at least half completed. And in general, your task will become a little easier.
9. Give him time
We have already mentioned this earlier, but I want to remind you again. That in most situations it may take a while for your friend to recover. It can be one day, week, or month. But during all this time it is recommended to be with him and provide the necessary support.
10. Try to convince him that life goes on
It goes without saying that showing up once is not enough if you want to really comfort a friend and not just tick a box. After all, helping a friend and keeping track of how he goes through the various stages of grief means regularly calling and visiting him. So take every opportunity to do any of the above. And try to gently convince your friend that life goes on and he will be fine.