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There isn’t a more frunstrating feeling in the world than seeing someone you love in pain. It matters very little if their pain is physical or emotional – you only want to help.
Below are five ways you can do just that:
- Give them an ear to bend and a shoulder on which to lean. You don’t have to say much, just listen. Let them vent, cry, complain – whatever they want. Getting it all out may help them feel better. Sometimes, through giving their pain a voice, people find out just exactly what the problem is and how to make it go away.
- Don’t judge, make things about you, or preach. Don’t try to lessen their pain by trivializing their sitution(s) – jut because you don’t feel the pain or don’t understand why they do – doesn’t mean their pain isn’t real. They might not identify with the things that get you down, either.
It’s also not the time to talk about your situations. If they just lost their job, they probably don’t want to hear about how terrible your’s is.
Finally, don’t preach. Again – it’s not the time.
- Love them and let them know you do. Tell them how you feel. There is a lot of power and strength in love, in family and in friendship. Sometimes it makes all the difference.
- Encourage them but don’t try to make them feel like they’re wrong for feeling discouraged. It’s a wonderful time to let them know how much you believe in them. Tell them you know they’ll come through this, and when they do they’ll be stronger because of it. Remind him/her of their strengths and attributes. When we’re down, we tend to forget that any exist!
- Try to get the person interested in activity. It may take a little convincing, but try to get them out of the house. Sometimes you just have to tell them, “We’re going to the park today. Bring your tennis racket and I’ll pack a cooler.” Don’t give them time to wiggle out of it, because if someone’s really down, they tend to want to wallow in it. You have to give them other options and then make them go!
Don’t give up on them. Remember, it’s only by the grace of God you aren’t in the same boat. Plus, you never know when you will be – and you wouldn’t want them to give up on you.
Make each encouragement count double,