Saying the Right Things to Someone Struggling

Saying the Right Things to Someone Struggling

We all know someone that is going through a hard time. We want to be there for the loved one and show support, but sometimes we don’t know what to say or do.  If we say the wrong thing, it could make matters worse. Selecting the words and tone of voice we use can make all the difference in how we affect the person we are trying to support. 

sad woman struggling with her emotions
Here are five things to say to someone who needs your support:
  • You are not alone.
  • I am here for you. 
  • What can I do to help you? 
  • I will make it a priority to help you in any way 
  • Things will get better.
Here are five things NOT to say:
  • You are overreacting. 
  • I’m going through something much worse than that. 
  • You are looking at this problem all wrong. 
  • You are too sensitive and need to toughen up. 
  • You need medication. 

“It’s not always easy to know how to comfort someone going through hard times, but just keep in mind, if the roles were reversed, what would you want someone to say to you,” suggests Jennifer Kugler, LPC, ACS, Senior Program Director, Child Behavioral Health Service. “If the person knows you are there for them through thick and thin, they will feel supported and loved and that’s so important.” 

If you or someone you know is struggling with loss, clinicians in our Counseling & Wellness Centers can help. Call our main number at 844-4-ACENDA (844-422-3632) for more information about our outpatient and telehealth services.