Seeing a loved one go through a rough time is always hard for us too. We can feel helpless and desperate to bring them out of that mood, but unsure how to. If you’ve been looking for some tips, here are a few simple ones to help you next time you want to cheer up someone dear:
Sometimes, we just need a pat on the back. Reassure the person by telling them what they need to hear. Simple comforting phrases like ‘I’m here for you’ or ‘Let me know if you need anything’ can make quite the difference. Be careful, though, because if the phrases are too general or overly positive then it could feel invalidating. You can also comfort them through physical touch, like hugs, gentle strokes or holding their hand.
Listen to them.
Let them rant. When people get stressed, they might want to talk about it. Not because it would change anything, but because it can offer a sense of relief. This is especially true for situations where something is out of their control. Allow them to speak freely about how they’re feeling. Try to also ask questions to reassure them that you care, but make sure you don’t have an invasive or judgemental tone.
Help out with the plan.
After the person calms down, it’s time to strategize. It’s important to discuss solutions, if possible, in order to actually eliminate the stress. Comforting them only helps temporarily, but a solution can help either prevent the stress from coming back or teach them how to handle it better when it does. You could help guide them by giving them feedback and advice on what they have in mind, again with no judgment.
Remember to be compassionate.
Be patient and empathize with them. When people are stressed, sometimes they lash out. They could get angry or sad over the little things. They could be in no mood to do the exciting things they usually enjoy. Make sure to keep that in mind while interacting with them during tough times. That being said, remember to set boundaries and hold them accountable compassionately to protect your energy too.