How to comfort hurting people can be confusing, so much so, that we end up doing nothing. Doing nothing isn’t the answer. We weren’t put on this planet to go through hardship alone. Let’s pull up our bootstraps, and open our hearts and our arms for those who need to lean on someone. Learn my 6 simple ways to know how to comfort hurting people.
Step #1 with how to comfort hurting people: awareness
I admire people who can share openly what’s going on in their life; I’m not talking about people boasting about themselves, I’m talking about people who genuinely reach out for help. Why? Because it makes me feel human and gives me a chance to help in some way or form.
It takes courage, confidence, and bravery to open up and expose our hearts to the world. As I said earlier, we weren’t made to go through storms alone, so why do we try to keep it quiet and pretend everything is “fine”? Pretending is going to help people heal; it’s just going to cause more issues down the road.
When a friend needs comfort online
Recently, an old high school classmate of mine was going through a difficult situation. She had a choice; keep it to herself or share it. She chose to share it on social media, not for sympathy or attention, but because she needed help getting through the storm. I admire her for putting her stuff out there, especially on social media where 90% of the posts are only good things that happen in people’s lives.
My heart went out to her and her family. I knew I wanted to respond but I didn’t know what to say so I thought about it and responded to her the next day. She felt alone, you could read it even though she didn’t say it. And that struck a chord in me. Whether it was emotions, hormones, the Holy Spirit, or a soul connection, I started weeping for her broken and confused heart.
I thought back to my storm I endured years ago in my personal life, and how alone I felt. From experience, I knew the best thing I could do for her was to reach out to her, pray for her, and give her a promise that I would. Prayer really does change things, and just knowing that other people are praying for you helps you put more trust and confidence in the Lord.
I believe my friend posting the updates about her situation was meant to not only keep everyone informed but for her to know who was sitting by her.
When a neighbor needs a little comfort
“As soon as you start thinking about the needs and burdens of others, and what you can do to alleviate them, or how you can bless and build up others, you begin to establish a new identity for yourself – your true identity.” –Matthew Barnett, The Cause Within You.
A while back I was talking with my neighbor. It started out as a friendly wave across the street, then she started walking toward me. I was in a hurry but knew I had to adjust my plans. She had to get a load off her shoulders and I understood the importance of a listening ear. She needed comfort in knowing someone would listen to her.
After she was finished she looked really exhausted. Knowing what to say to comfort her was hard. I thought about suggesting ideas for solutions, but she didn’t ask for a solution so I just listened and told her I was really sorry she was going through all of this. She didn’t want advice, she just wanted to be heard.
6 ideas to comfort hurting people:
- Visit them
- Send them a card in the mail
- Pray for them
- Call them
- Just let them know you’re thinking about them
- Listen to them
Step #2: put yourself in their shoes
The next morning I tried to put myself in my neighbor’s shoes and asked myself if I were feeling down, what would make me feel a little bit better? This is so incredibly important and powerful. In fact, you can live with this perspective with whomever you encounter throughout your day.
Buying something for my neighbor is what I wanted to do. A gift in delicate situations doesn’t have to be big or super expensive, it’s to bring them comfort and to remind them that people are thinking of them. On this particular day, I didn’t have any flowers in my garden, so I went to the store and picked out all sorts of colorful carnations. They are inexpensive but have a lot to say. So if you’re on a budget go for the carnations.
When I got home, I arranged the flowers in a mason jar and went over to her house. A soft knock on her door was all I did and she opened it immediately. I handed her the flowers and said, “Just thought you could use these.” No other words were spoken, yet her eyes got glossy. She kindly said thank you and I left.
Wrapping up how to comfort hurting people
Comforting hurting people doesn’t have to be awkward, it doesn’t need to be confusing, or worse ignored. Tough stuff is tough. Remember the two steps: be aware of what’s going on, and put yourself in their shoes. When you know the person well, you will know exactly what to do. Yet, if it’s an acquaintance, a simple jester of a card, flowers, or even a heart emoji will do. Keep your ears on them, shut your mouth, and allow them to process and heal in their own time.
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By CT Copyright © 2016 Do More Than Exist All Rights Reserved.