10 ways to comfort someone

  • acknowledge their position
  • explore their feelings with them
  • absolve them of blame for their circumstance (if appropriate). “You didn’t deserve this.” “We can only do so much.”
  • reassure them it’s okay to express their feelings. It’s important for
  • encourage them to elaborate and feel the feelings
  • allow them to tell the story associated with their feelings
  • ask questions like, “how are you feeling about x now?”
  • reflect and restate what you hear that person say
  • mirror their nonverbal communication, too. “I can see how sad this makes you.”
  • offer hypothesis on why they may be feeling that way. “could it be that they feel guilty?”
  • invite them to share through open ended questions (more than rigid yes vs no questions)
  • affirm their feelings
  • give a hug and/or appropriate physical touch

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