How to Provide Comfort to Those Going Through Tough Times
When life hands you a tough situation, you may need to lean on other people for comfort. But what if you're the person that needs to provide the shoulder? It can be a difficult job since you need to be the one that stays strong for the other person.
How you provide comfort will vary depending on who you're comforting and what they've gone through. However, there are universal tips to keep in mind when you're consoling someone.
Here are some strategies that can help you provide much-needed comfort to others:
If the person you're helping is dealing with loss, you'll also be helping them with their grief. Grief is a natural emotion to go through when you find yourself facing a traumatic loss. If you gain a better understanding of grief, you may be able to assist with comfort in a helpful manner.
Grief looks different to everyone, and can be molded by their culture. One that that holds true across all cultures of grief is compassion and comfort are appreciated. You do not have to say something to fix it. When talking to a group of widows the common comment was that they wished people would just be there, holding the space, and not trying to fix anything.
Grief has no timeline, and just when you think you are done, it comes back again. So being there for someone not just the week or two after the loss, but being there off and on for the long term is helpful. I remember the first valentines day after my husband passed. Bill passed in August and I had made it through Thanksgiving and Christmas so I thought I was doing good. Then came valentines day and I had a total meltdown in the store looking at the holiday display. We find that songs, places, and events can be big landmines for those of us that have experienced grief.
Depression and Anxiety
Depression and anxiety can be difficult to help with since the person tends to lose interest, or be anxious about in the world around them. You and your shoulder to cry on can make a difference. Be there for them and let them know that you care. You can offer to hold their hand as they step out of the darkness. Be careful not to push, as this can lead to them refusing to move. Instead let them know that you are there, and that you are ready when they are to take a stop. Listen to them and don't try to fix things. If they say that they want to hurt themselves or others then you can encourage them to reach out to professionals, and if they do not then you should reach out to professionals.
When someone you know is going through a rough time, use these tips to guide you in consoling your loved one. The comfort you bring them may be the one thing that helps them make it through to better days.