It’s very difficult to console someone who is down. Criticism won’t help but a listening heart can. Feeling what someone else is going through is already a comfort. Understanding and empathy is better than a pound of preaching because of a mistake. Blaming won’t help either. Though, it’s easier to find fault with other people but it’s different when your compassion is what they needed.
Acknowledge that you understand the person’s feelings. Sometimes people want to seek advice or a solution to their problem. But as seen, they usually want to vent their feelings. This is especially true for women. So, just listen. Let that the other person to talk, so that they can sort their feelings themselves; they may not even be able to articulate why they’re feeling down, unless you draw it out of them.
Never minimize their pain or try to cheer them up. When faced with tears, sometimes we insist that whatever they’re upset about is no big deal. Don’t trivialize their experience, but walk through it with them. Put yourself on their shoes so that you can easily understand what they’ve been through. Words may not be that trivial but the way you respond to a situation matters.
Sometimes people don’t want to talk and just want to be held in silence. They also just want to feel that they are not alone. So, your presence is already enough to comfort them. Even if you won’t offer consoling words, the mere fact that you stay with them is already a relief.
In such circumstance, the person typically feels better after having shared the burden in their heart, and the pain fades eventually. Having someone who is willing to listen and will never judge you despite your flaws is a gift. How on earth I survive life’s struggle if I don’t have a friend whom I can lean on especially when I am so down and depressed.
Money is nothing compared to a friend who can help you without extending any monetary budget to you. If a problem is not resolve yet, she can offer you a solution to improve the situation without pressuring you to do it. She always listens. Even if she also has problems of her own.
With someone who’s sad not because of an isolated event, but because they suffer from disappointments, just talk to her and listen. Excess rumination is not only ineffective in alleviating depressed feelings, it can also worsen them.