How to help someone when you don’t know what to say

How do you help someone who is suffering or mourning? We can’t take away their pain, and so it’s hard to know how to help. This article has some excellent advice.

‘“I’m thinking of you,” “You crossed my mind today,” and “I’m just checking in” are also helpful entry points, says licensed marriage and family therapist Kiaundra Jackson. These sentiments are quick, but not unfeeling, don’t require a response, and show your loved one you’re available should they choose to engage.’

Also, this bit is really good advice for a mistake I often find myself making.

‘Open-ended statements and questions like, “I’m here if you need anything,” “How can I help?” or, “What do you need?” are too broad. Asking someone who’s upset or grieving what they need puts the onus on them to help you feel useful.’

What advice would you add?

How can you be there for someone when you don’t know what to say? - Vox


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Written by

Aaron Miller

Aaron Miller

Provo, UT