Sympathy words of comfort | How to Comfort Someone Who Is Sad
How to Console a Very Sad Person
Sadness is a normal and common human emotion.It is very thoughtful and natural for you to want to console a sad friend, relative, partner, or acquaintance.You can help someone who is very sad by showing concern (empathy, warmth, validation), helping the person feel better, and doing positive activities with the person.
Approach the person.In order to help someone who is sad, you must be able to approach the person and begin a conversation. How you decide to approach the person will depend on your relationship with her.
- Walk up to the person and engage her in conversation. You can begin by saying something like, “Hi. How are you doing?” If the person simply says, “fine,” you can say, “It seems like you are sad. Do you want to talk about it?” If she says no you must respect her decision to be alone; say something like, “I understand. I’m here for you if you want to talk.” You can try again to approach her later if you wish.
Provide support.Communicate that you will be supportive of your friend or acquaintance.
- Tell the person that you truly care about her and her well-being and that you are there for her. Offer your help. You can say something like, “I know you are very sad and I just want to let you know that I am here for you.”
- Ask her what you can do to help. You could say, "I'd like to help in any way I can. Is there something I can do? We could talk about it if you want."
Show empathy.Part of being empathic is matching the other person’s affect or emotions. If they are sad, you should also look concerned. Try to feel the other person’s emotions and mirror them. You would not want to smile or laugh at a person who is crying or very sad.
- Express warmth and understanding.Use physical touch such as a hug, or holding the person’s hand if you feel this is comfortable and appropriate.You can ask the person, “Can I give you a hug?”
Validate feelings.Many people experience sadness in the face of adversity; this can be a normal reaction to a very difficult situation.Validating or normalizing sadness can help the person gain acceptance over this emotion.
- You can say something like, “I understand why you are sad. It makes sense. This is such a difficult situation. I’m sorry that you are going through this.”
- Do not tell the person not to feel her emotions. Never say anything like, “Don’t be sad.” This can be very invalidating.
- Another way you can normalize feelings is by educating your friend about sadness, grief, and loss.You can explain that it is normal to feel denial, anger, and other grief reactions during these types of situations.
Let the person cry.Crying can actually increase our well-being by cleansing and releasing pent up emotions.Encourage your friend or family member to let her emotions out if she is inclined to do so.
- Simply sit with your friend while she is tearful. You can hand her a tissue, rub her back (if appropriate), or tell her to, “let it out.”
- You can follow up by saying, “It’s okay to cry. Sometimes it is good to let those feelings out.”
- Avoid saying things like, “Please don’t cry.” This is sending the signal that it is not okay for her to let her emotions out and that you feel uncomfortable with her sadness.
Listen actively.Active listening is about focusing solely on the other person and her experience. Try not to think about the next thing you are going to say and simply listen to everything the person is saying.
- Ask clarifying questions to show that you are being attentive. An example is, “I’m hearing that you are very sad because you lost your dog and you want to find him, is that right?”
Provide space if needed.Be respectful of your friend’s space and wishes. If she does not want to talk about what is bothering her anymore, you can begin helping her feel better and doing other activities with her.
- To show that you are understanding of her need for space you can say, "I understand if you do not want to talk or if you want to be left alone. I'm here for you if you do want to talk or spend time together."
Helping the Person Feel Better
Be positive and hopeful.This means not letting the person’s sadness get you down. You need to be able to regulate your own emotions and not become overwhelmed yourself, otherwise you won’t be able to help your friend very much.
- Take a break from the conversation if you need a minute to re-group. Perhaps excuse yourself to go to the bathroom. Take deep breaths, or let some of your emotions out if you need to.
Give a gift.According to the 5 love languages, many people enjoy receiving gifts as ways to show love and support.This can go a long way in cheering someone up who is sad and it shows that you are thoughtful and supportive.
- Give a gift such as flowers, a card, or her favorite candy.
- If you are lacking in finances, you can write her a loving letter or make her a home-made gift (art, etc).
Assist in changing negative thinking.Sometimes people can have negative (and untrue) thoughts that increase sadness or guilt. For example, some individuals may tend to personalize events or situations, which can create unnecessary negative emotions.
- An example might be if your friend says, “It’s my fault that Fido ran away.” Help your friend re-direct these types of thoughts by offering alternatives and calming disagreeing with her. You could say something such as, "You love Fido and do everything you can to take care of him. Maybe he just got out somehow and couldn't find his way home."
- Some people might have negative thoughts that try to predict the future such as if your friend says, “I’m never going to find Fido.” This is an incorrect thought because she cannot predict what will happen. You can gently say something like, “Isn’t it possible that you will still find him? I have hope that we might be able to get him back.”
- Avoid blaming others.Encourage your friend to focus on what she can do about the situation instead of thinking too much about how others may have contributed to the issue; this can increase anger and reduce her ability to think logically and problem-solve.
Problem-solve.When people are very sad they can sometimes have difficulty thinking rationally and working toward solutions to their problem. Encourage your friend to look at her emotions as information. Her sadness is telling her that something is wrong and might need to be resolved.Then, you can help her come up with possible solutions and work toward them.
- For example, if your friend lost her dog, you can say, “Let’s work on a solution together. What do you think we should do first?”
- Offer possible solutions. For instance, you could say, “I have an idea, why don’t we start calling local shelters to see if anyone has found him.”
Engaging in Activities with the Person
Encourage positive coping.Help your friend find healthy coping resources. Coping skills are ways to deal with negative feelings and situations. This way, she can express herself or heal without causing herself more harm.
- Some examples of positive ways of coping with sadness include: spiritual or religious activities, creative exercises (art), nature-related activities, exercise, and mindfulness or meditation.
- Avoid drinking alcohol or using substances to excess with your friend or family member.This can be harmful and does not promote healthy coping or a reduction in sadness. In order to discourage using drugs or alcohol to cope you can educate your friend and offer alternatives by saying, "I've read that coping by using alcohol can create more problems and decrease your ability to deal with your emotions and the situation. What if we watch a funny movie together instead?"
Distract the person.Many times people can get caught up in ruminating, or overthinking, negative thoughts and get stuck in an emotion.Help your friend distract herself in order to reduce rumination.
- Some helpful distracting or grounding techniques include: watching a happy movie, listening to cheerful music, dancing, naming colors or objects in the room, and playing a game.
Spend quality time together.Spending time with your friend can help to console her and promote a sense of social support.Support is crucial to helping someone overcome sadness.
- Do creative activities together such as painting, drawing, playing musical instruments, writing song together, making candles, etc.
- Get out in nature. Go have a picnic in a scenic place. Head to the beach and relax in the sand.
- Exercise together. Go for a hike, run, or just a walk together.
QuestionWhat if I have to cheer up someone who's sad over the phone?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThanks!
Sources and Citations
In other languages:
Bahasa Indonesia: , Русский: , Español: , Italiano: , Português: , Français: , Nederlands: , العربية: , Tiếng Việt: , 한국어: , Deutsch:
Video: How to Comfort Your Girlfriend/Boyfriend when She Is Sad Upset, What to tell Him/Her when she is Sad
How to Improve Your Iris Model
How to Lose 10 Kg Fast
6 Off-The-Floor Ab Exercises
How to Get Sleek Hair
Marks Spencer is changing its Dine In For Two deal and were shook
How to Start an Indie Lifestyle
3 Sites for Quitting Smoking
How to Improve Your English Speaking Skills
Vivienne Westwood FallWinter 2014-2015 Collection – Paris Fashion Week
How to Contact Lenny Kravitz