Everyone we meet is going through something and needs emotional support in some capacity. This is why it’s important to remember to be kind to those around you. Don’t be afraid to admit that you are struggling. We’ve all been there in our own ways, and if you want to know how to help people, letting them know they’re not alone is a good place to start. No one should ever feel ashamed of their pain.
How to Be an Emotional Support System for Someone in Need
The power of simple listening is underrated. Most of the time, we don’t listen to hear; we listen to respond. We don’t listen with the intent to understand; we listen with the intent to reply, which means we are formulating our response in our head as the person is talking, so are we even really hearing them?
Sometimes all people need is someone willing to hold space for them. They aren’t always looking for a response or advice, but they simply just need someone to BE with them in their pain. This is one of the biggest ways to help people and give them the emotional support they need.
How to talk to people who are in pain
Don’t ask people to explain their pain. Just listen and let them know that they matter and their pain matters. By simply being there, listening, and being available in whatever way you are needed, you are giving them the support that they need.
It’s important to focus on the overall situation and how you can impact it by being there.
Takeaway: Meet people where they are
If you don’t know how to talk to people who are struggling, it’s important to be intentional and meet them where they are. You can ask what you can do for them, but don’t give advice unless they ask for it. When someone is in an enormous amount of pain, their rational mind is not in use. They don’t see things the way you do. What might seem small to you will feel unbearable to them. Whatever you do, don’t minimize their situation; it will only incite them more.
Finally, remember that small gestures matter. Simply asking someone how someone is doing can make them feel less burdened. It can make all the difference for someone who is in need of emotional support.