Why does it happen that when you want to offer comfort to someone you really care about, words fail? And your stupidity causes more pain to the person you’re trying to help? At such moments, I feel unprepared, unsure about what to say and instead of honestly acknowledging that, feel pressured to somehow make things right and offer a solution.
I think it happens to the most articulate and caring among us. We all should learn how to listen better so we come up with words that soothe, not sting.
Good advice for most situations, especially one like this, is to put yourself in the other person’s place. How would you feel and what would you want others to say to you? This is called empathy. What would make you feel better? Most times a kind smile, a warm hug and simply “I’m sorry, I feel for you” will do the trick. Even just asking to go for a walk together, with no agenda other than to spend quiet time, can be helpful.