There are many instances in life that can leave you feeling helpless. One of the most difficult things we go through is when a loved one becomes sick and needs to be comforted. Comforting your loved one may not involve expensive gifts or elaborate gestures, but it can be done in many different ways.
There’s nothing worse than watching someone you care about suffer and not being able to do anything about it. We’ve compiled some ideas for how you can show your support during those tough times, so your loved one knows they’re not alone. Here are 4 ways you can be there for them:
Listen to Them Without Judging
No one knows your loved one better than you. Take the time to listen without judging, giving advice, or talking about how they are feeling in a negative light. Just allow them to speak their mind, knowing they have someone who is there for them.
They don’t need someone telling them how bad their situation is, they just need someone there to listen and acknowledge that they’re having a hard time. If you can do this, it will go a long way!
Be Honest with Them
People appreciate honesty, even when the truth is difficult to hear. Sometimes it’s hard, to be honest with people you care about because you don’t want them to be hurt by your words. But, if you can be honest with your loved ones and tell them how you feel, it will make it easier for them. For example, if they look like they’ve lost weight or are stressed out, don’t hesitate to show that you notice. You can say something as simple as “You haven’t been eating enough lately” or “You seem stressed out lately, is everything okay?”
If you can be honest with your loved ones and tell them how you feel, it will make it easier for them. Even if the news is not what they wanted or expected, if you are honest with them, they will appreciate your honesty and openness. Your presence is an important part of comforting your loved one. Just showing up, and letting them know you care, can make a world of difference for someone who is struggling.
Don’t expect anything in return, and don’t feel like you need to say something profound or solve their problems right away. If you’ve followed the first two steps, you’ve already been honest with them and listened to their problems. Now, all you need to do is be there without judging or advising them on what they should do. They might not want someone telling them how to feel or trying to “solve” their problem.
Offer to Help in Any Way You Can
People appreciate knowing they aren’t alone. If your loved one needs help around the house and doesn’t have the energy to do it, offer to help. If they need someone to talk to and vent their problems with, be there for them. It’s even much easier to help a family member over text today. If they need help cooking or cleaning because of an illness or injury, step in and help. The more you can do as a friend or family member, the better off your loved one will feel knowing people are there to support them.
Offer words of encouragement and comfort, even if they don’t believe it at the time. Sometimes you can say all the right things and still not get through to your loved one. Just because they don’t believe what you’re saying doesn’t mean that you should stop trying. Try something like “You’ll get through this” or “You can do it!” Don’t let your loved ones push you away when they don’t want to talk. They might not need advice or input, but they could still use a friend in their life who is there for them no matter what.
Don’t Minimize Their Pain
Always remember that everyone is different. Some people need to talk about their problems and how they feel, while others prefer silence. If your loved one doesn’t want to talk about their problems, don’t press them to open up.
If you do the opposite of what the person needs (i.e., talking when they’d rather be silent), it will make them feel worse. People can tell when you’re trying to help and when you’re forcing yourself into their life. If you do decide to talk, make sure it’s in a place where they’ll feel most comfortable.
Don’t forget that there are many different forms of comfort! Sometimes your presence is the only comfort someone needs when they’ve had a bad day. Other times, people might need something more, like food or words of encouragement. Knowing what your loved ones needs, and when they need it, is essential to being there for them.