3 Ways to Comfort a Sad Person

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3 Ways to Comfort a Sad Person
3 Ways to Comfort a Sad Person

Sadness is a common emotion and it is kind of you to want to comfort a friend, relative, partner, or acquaintance who is sad. You can help someone by showing interest (empathy, caring, and valuing feelings, for example), helping them to feel better, and doing some activities with them.


Method 1 of 3: Showing Interest

Console a Very Sad Person Step 1

Step 1. Get closer

To help someone who is sad, you need to get closer to talk. How the approach will be made will depend on the relationship with the person.

Get close and strike up a conversation. It might start with something trivial like, "Hi, how are you?" If she simply answers “fine,” tell her she looks sad and offer to talk. If the person refuses the offer, respect the decision. Be understanding and be available if she wants to let off steam. You can try another approach later if you wish

Console a Very Sad Person Step 2

Step 2. Offer support

Say you are there to support her.

  • Tell her how much you care about her well-being. Offer help and try to break the ice with something like, “I know you're really sad. I'm here for you".
  • Ask what you can do to help. Try saying something like, “I would like to help in some way. Is there anything I can do? We can talk if you want."
Console a Very Sad Person Step 3

Step 3. Show empathy

Being aligned with another person's emotions is part of being empathic. If she is sad, show concern. Try to see yourself in it to understand these emotions. Don't laugh if the person is sad or crying.

Express caring and understanding. Use physical contact: offer a hug or hold her hands if it makes her feel comfortable and appropriate. You can also ask if you can give a hug

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Step 4. Value the feelings

Many people react with sadness to adversity, which can be normal in a complicated situation. Valuing or neutralizing sadness can help you to replace the feeling of despondency with one of acceptance.

  • Say something like, “I understand you're sad, it makes perfect sense in this complicated situation. I'm very sorry that you're going through this.”
  • Don't try to inhibit emotions. Never say something like "Don't be sad". This type of comment minimizes the other person's feelings.
  • Another way to neutralize feelings is to clarify about sadness, grief and loss. Try explaining that feelings of denial, anger, and other emotions inherent in grief are completely normal in this type of situation.
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Step 5. Let her cry

Crying can increase the sense of well-being by releasing trapped emotions. Encourage the person to let the feelings flow.

  • Stay by her side when she cries. Offer a handkerchief, pat her back (if appropriate), or encourage her to put everything out.
  • An appropriate thing to say is “It's okay to cry. It's good to get the feelings out once in a while.”
  • Avoid making comments asking her to stop crying. The signal you send out when you say something like that is that it's not right to let your emotions out and that her sadness bothers you.
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Step 6. Listen actively

Active listening is putting full focus on the other person and their experience. Don't think about the next thing to say, just listen to what she is saying.

Ask clear questions to show you are listening to the conversation. You might say, "From what I understand, your sadness is because you lost your dog and you want to find him, isn't that it?"

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Step 7. Give space

Respect the other person's space and wishes. If she doesn't want to talk about the subject that bothers her, you can still help her feel better by doing some activity together.

To show that you understand the need for space, you can say, “I understand if you don't want to talk or if you want to be alone. I'm here for you if you want to chat or do something."

Method 2 of 3: Helping the person feel better

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Step 1. Be optimistic and hopeful

You cannot let yourself be overwhelmed by the sadness of others. You have to regulate your own emotions and not be impressed, otherwise you won't be able to help those who really need it.

Take a break from the conversation. An excuse that you need to go to the bathroom, for example. Take a deep breath and let your emotions out too

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Step 2. Offer a gift

According to the five languages ​​of love, many people see gifts as a way to show love and support. A gift can cheer someone who is sad, and the attitude shows that you are thinking about her.

  • Give gifts like flowers, a card, or favorite chocolate.
  • If you're short on money, write a letter or make yourself a gift.
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Step 3. Help change negative thinking

Negative (and fictitious) thoughts can increase sadness or guilt. Some people tend to personalize events or situations, and this can end up creating unnecessary negative emotions.

  • An example of what a person might think: "It's my fault Fido ran away." Help her redirect that kind of thinking by offering alternatives and gently disagreeing. You might say something like, “You love your dog and do everything you can for him. Maybe he just left and couldn't find his way back home."
  • Some people try to predict events negatively, saying things like "I'll never find my dog." That thought is useless because she doesn't know what's going to happen. You can gently say something like, “No more possibilities to find him? Let's hope we can bring him back.”
  • Avoid blaming others. Encourage the person to focus on the situation rather than thinking about how others contributed to the problem. In addition to increasing anger, the thought will only get in the way of resolving the setback.
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Step 4. Help solve the problem

Sadness sometimes prevents the person from thinking rationally and being able to resolve the impasse. Encourage her to look at emotions as sources of information. Sadness is saying something is wrong and needs to be fixed. Then you can help her think of an alternative to try to solve the problem.

  • For example, if the person has lost the dog, you can say, “Let's think of a solution. What do you think we should do first?”
  • Offer possible solutions. You can say, for example, “I have an idea! Why don't we call animal shelters to see if anyone found him?”

Method 3 of 3: Doing Activities Together

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Step 1. Encourage positive coping mechanisms

Try to help by finding healthy ways to deal with a problem. This is a way of dealing with negative feelings and situations and being able to express yourself without causing more pain or harm.

  • Some examples of these mechanisms for dealing with sadness are: religious or spiritual activities, creative (artistic) exercises, nature-related activities, physical exercise or meditation.
  • Avoid alcohol or excessive substances. Besides being dangerous, none of this will help to lessen the sadness. To discourage drinking or drug use, offer alternatives. You might say, “I've read that drinking alcohol as a way of coping with one problem creates others and reduces the ability to deal with emotions and the situation itself. Why don't we watch a comedy movie instead?"
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Step 2. Distract the person

Sometimes people are mulling over a situation and getting caught up in negative thoughts. Distract your friend to help reduce this feeling.

Some examples that can help with distraction: watching a happy movie, listening to lively music, dancing, naming objects in the room, and playing a game

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Step 3. Spend more time together

Spending time with the person can be a great comfort and support to them. Support is essential in helping someone to overcome sadness.

  • Do creative activities. Painting, drawing, playing musical instruments, writing songs and making candles are some ideas.
  • Enjoy nature. Have a picnic in a beautiful place. Go to the beach and relax on the sand.
  • Exercise. A run, or just a walk, are great options.

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