There may be a thousand reasons for your friend to grief – whether over a heart-breaking loss, a break up, or just a passing misfortune, but there is only one way for you to heal it, that is by staying near. If the very question of how to comfort a friend gives you chills, don’t be frustrated. It does take a lot to be sincere and mindful in your approach, but other than this the art of comforting is easy to grasp.
3 Myths About the Art of Comforting
A private message will do
If only you’re in another country (and even then it’s questionable), sending your friend in grief just a text by phone or on social networks seems really cruel and mindless, especially when you write something like “Please let me know if you want to talk about it.” Even if talking is the only thing your friend needs now, this message is likely to embarrass rather than offer help. Avoid leaving the next step to your friend. Instead, offer your support explicitly and act immediately.
It’s all about hugs
Hugs count as one of the methods of how to comfort a friend, but in reality it helps only for a few moments that this intimacy lasts. You part your ways, and your friend is left all alone with his or her troubles. To combat this miserable consequence, go for help that has a more lasting effect, like taking up some domestic chores, doing laundry, going for a walk together with a dog by your side, or taking your friend away from this place to a little quiet resort.
Eloquence is king
To be a good comforter, you don’t necessarily have to be the best public speaker out there. Comforting your friend is a private affair, and there are only you two, so there’s no need to rehearse elaborate speeches that sound like you’re in a Hollywood scene. Stay true to your feelings and don’t be ashamed to admit you’re lost for words. Sometimes, it even gives a kind of sobering effect for your friend.
10 Proven Tips on How to Comfort a Friend
Wherever you are – next to your friend personally or just talking over the phone, you should learn to listen first, without interrupting or showering your grieving friend with your opinions on the situation. Let your friend pour his or her soul entirely until they find no more words and are ready for your feedback.
Getting over a loss is hard, and no one would expect people to go through it stoically with no emotions. Remind your friend that letting yourself go and crying out like crazy is a powerful approach that can bring more relief and peacefulness in the end.
If your friend’s grief is somehow connected to the place we you’re living, try to make all the arrangements to leave the place for a while, until it’s all calm and easy again. Be sure to travel as long as necessary for your friend to get over the grief and get ready to return home again.
As easy as it sounds, spending money on things your friend likes can be a good remedy against any problems. Just try to choose the right time and avoid the most crowded places, as it can be too stressful and less useful when it comes to how to comfort a friend, not to provoke more sufferings.
Just because you’re not affected by a huge problem or grief like your friend is doesn’t mean you should get patronizing and start comforting as if you know better. No one is really prepared for any earth-shattering experiences, but as they happen, be sincere and altruistic in your consolations.
Arranging a special dinner
When affected with grief or extreme melancholy, people are incapable of taking care of themselves, and that is how you can step in to offer some real help. Cook a special dinner, buy your friend’s favorite wine, put on relaxing music and try to persuade your friend gently that life goes on and it has much more in store.
When looking to comfort your friend, call out for other people who are really close with your friend to show that he or she is not alone. When together, you are likely to deal with your friend’s situation much more effectively, while also easing the atmosphere and bringing in more joy.
Making your friend laugh again
Humor helps in any situation. The moment you see a smile on your friend’s face again, you can be convinced that your mission is at least half done. The rest of the comforting task should be much easier.
Regardless of the reason of your friend’s grief, learning to know how to comfort a friend also includes giving your friend time to cope with the situation. It can be one day or one year, but during all this time it’s recommended that you be there to offer your support whenever needed.
Keeping an eye
Needless to say, it’s never enough just to show up once if you want to really comfort your friend, not just to tick a box off. Keeping an eye on your friend’s progression through different stages of grief means giving regular calls and visiting at your friend’s place to make sure that everything is fine. Each time you reach out, use this chance to do anything of the above to accelerate the healing period and comfort your friend more effectively.