Home Comfort How to offer comfort/give sympathy

How to offer comfort/give sympathy

How to offer comfort/give sympathy

Acknowledgment is the essential step in giving comfort. Here’s a Golden Rule of communications: “They won’t care about what you know until they know you care.”

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⚠️ Important note: The FIRST step in comforting someone is listening. After letting them share their perspective, then you acknowledge their pain.
  • When comforting someone, it’s great to commiserate to show connection, but be careful not to spend too much time sharing every detail of your experience. This moment is about them. Oversharing can feel invalidating sometimes.
  • Be patient, as those in pain and grief are not in full possession of their rational brains. Active listening, emotion, and empathy are the first steps to getting through to them.

Talking Points

A Big Freaking List of Comforting Statements

I see how upset you are, and I’m sorry to see you struggle.Acknowledgment
You have every right to feel the way you do.Acknowledgment
I can’t imagine how you must feel.Acknowledgment
It’s okay to be sad.Acknowledgment
Everything you feel is totally understandable.Acknowledgment
You’re doing everything you need to do. Sometimes, just taking it hour by hour is enough. This is one of those times.Acknowledgment
I know you don’t feel it right now, but you will feel better eventually.Reassure
You are so loved.Reassure
You are stronger than you know.Reassure
I’ve got you, boo.Reassure
I’ve got your back.Reassure
I think it’s brave that you get up every day despite knowing how hard it is. Thank you for not giving up.Reassure
You can handle this, especially if you take it one step at a time.Reassure
You have a 100 percent track record for getting through tough days. Reassure
Feelings are not facts and not all thoughts are true.Reassure
This too shall pass.Reassure
You can and will get through this. Reassure
If it’s out of your hands, it should be free from your mind too.Reassure
I’m here to feel with you and let you know you’re not alone. Reassure
Hang in there.Reassure
Please remember I’m here for you, not to intrude, but to support in whatever way you need me.Comfort
I’m so sorry to hear that <name> is unwell. If there is anything I can do — even bake you guys a mean casserole — just let me know!Illness – Partner
Wishing <name> warm and sunny wishes for a speedy recovery.Illness – Partner
Hoping this finds you and <name> well on the way to a speedy recovery.Illness – Partner
Hoping each new day will find <name> feeling better.Illness – Partner
Hope he/she will soon be well.Illness – Partner
Hope her/his hospital stay is a short one.Illness – Partner
Wishing him/her a speedy recovery.Illness – Partner
Just a cheery note to wish you and <name> well.Illness – Partner
Sending you peaceful thoughts and warm wishes.Illness – Partner
Thinking of you and hoping you’re feeling better soonIllness – Partner
Thinking of you and <name> and I’m hoping he/she is feeling better.Illness – Partner
I hope his/her illness will soon be only a memory.Illness – Partner
Just a note to let you know how much I care.Illness – Partner
Hope he/se will continue to feel better every day.Illness – Partner
Hope he/she will be in the best of health again soon.Illness – Partner
My thoughts are with you with love and caring.Illness – Partner
Hoping he/she feels stronger with each passing day.Illness – Partner
With love and special wishes that <name> will soon be feeling better.Illness – Partner
Hope he/she is up and about soon.Illness – Partner
I know this is hard and you’re not alone. If there is anything I can do to make life easier, better, or kinder to you, let me know and I’ll be happy to do it.ReassureComfort
I can’t imagine how you must be feeling right now, but know that I’m here for anything and everything.Comfort
It’s okay to be angry and it’s okay to be frustrated.Acknowledgment
I’m so sorry you are experiencing this, I wish there was something I could do to make your life better – but until then I can at least be by your side in any way possible.Comfort
May her/his recovery be swift and painless.Illness – Partner
I’m thinking of you both.Illness – Partner
Forgive yourself for not knowing better at the time. Forgive yourself for giving away your power. Forgive yourself for past mistakes. You did what you had to do to survive. You did the best you could do with the information you had at the time.Divorce
You’re so strong. You left someone who did you wrong and it was someone you never that you’d leave. That’s incredibly brave – you looked beyond what you had, what you wanted and decided to chase what you needed.Divorce
With time, you’ll see that the crazy, anxious person version of you was simply a kindhearted, tender person reacting to a very unkind situation.Divorce
I know that you feel broken right now. But trust me, my friend, you are so strong. You’re holding yourself together and even though you think you will shatter at any moment, you don’t stop. You just heal. It may not be pretty or grateful, but fuck it, you keep going.Divorce
Love is not how much pain you can tolerate from your partner. You made the right decision.Divorce
You’re stuck in this miserable page in a crappy chapter, but baby, you have no idea that there is so much more to the book. You’ll realize that. Someday soon, I promise.Divorce
With divorce comes renewal. With leaving comes arriving at a healthy place. With shedding the toxic comes a brilliant new glow and a slow but steady process of rediscovering yourself. You lose the one who caused you to walk on eggshells, the one who seemed annoyed every time you tried to talk about important things, the one who always acted as if you weren’t good enough. Yet, you were chosen by them because of your natural goodness.Divorce
Divorce is okay. Starting over is okay. Moving on is okay. Saying no is okay. Being alone is okay. What’s not okay is staying somewhere where you aren’t happy, valued, or appreciated.Divorce

An Excerpt from “The Comfort Book,” by Matt Haig

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I hope this email finds you calm.
I hope this email finds you unflustered about your inbox
I hope this email finds you in a state of acceptance that this email isn’t exactly important in the cosmic scheme of things.
I hope this email finds your work happily unfinished.
I hope this email finds you beneath a beautiful sky with the wind tenderly caressing your hair like an invisible mother I hope this email finds you lying on a beach, or maybe beside a lake.
I hope this email finds you with the sunlight on your face
I hope this email finds you eating some blissfully sweet grapes.
I hope this email finds you well but, you know what, it’s okay if it doesn’t because we all have bad days.
I hope this email finds you reading a really good poem or something else that requires no direct response from you.
I hope this email finds you far away from this email.


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