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so what do you say when somones going through something really hard

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by fr0me0, Jul 4, 2005.

  1. fr0me0


    Dec 7, 2004
    Winnipeg Canada
    So a couple times recently things have happned like someones cousin has commited sucide or someones parents have split up and I'm just kinda lost for words when i've heard the news. Alls I can muster out is an "I'm sorry to hear that, and if you ever need to talk let me know" all while praying they dont wanna talk about it to me cause i just don't know what to say. I can't even say I know what you are going through cause that would just be a lie, so far I've had a pretty happy go lucky life. So how what exactly do you do to be a good friend and support someone throug a personal crisis or trajedy?
  2. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    Tell them just what you said here. Let the person you don't know what to say, or how to react. Just let them know you are available as a listening ear, and a shoulder to cry on. Quite often, a listening ear is what people are looking for when going through a traumatic event.

  3. +1, most often a listening ear is what's needed. If you could to that, I'd think that would be enough.
  4. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    In all honesty, I think just about the biggest reflex for people (guys, specifically) is to try and say anything we can to fix the situation, when that's...basically useless. Trust me, I've worked my arse off on NOT doing this instinctually and it's still a reflex I have to watch out for. Just be there -- an ear and a shoulder, 90% of the time, the best you can hope to do.

  5. simpy1


    Mar 31, 2005
    New Zealand
    Definitely. Just let them know that if they need a shoulder to cry on you're there, and sometimes they take it up. Just let them vent - even if you're lost for words they will be glad to have someone with them and listening.
  6. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    "Be supportive".

    I can tell you, when I got hit with a massive medical surprise a few months ago, you guys really propped me up. I had like twenty or thirty e-mails from y'all, that really made a huge difference in my outlook.

    It's a scary thing, when you come face-to-face with your own mortality, or whatever.

    I'm eternally grateful to y'all, and my local friends over here, for that kind of support. Really, truly, it's made all the difference in the world.

    Some people understand it, and some don't. My own mom, tends to be very harsh and judgemental (I'm sorry to say, but I love her and there's nothing I can do to change her perspective).

    But it's guys and girls like you, that have kept me going these last few months. And my totally awesome and spectacular girlfriend Nicky, without whom I'd probably be dead right now.

    A listening ear is a good thing, and a few helpful (but not intrusive) suggestions are a good thing too.

    Knowing that someone cares, can make all the difference in the world.

    IMO. :)
  7. bmc


    Nov 15, 2003
    As said by others, be there. Don't offer it. Be there. Pick them up and take them out for a coffee. Show up to buy groceries or drop family membersa where ever. Rarely will someone call because everyone offers to help, but the ones that make a difference are the ones that are there helping.

    When someone is dealing with tragedy, there isn't much that can be said. It's horrible. It's frightening. Anxiety is high.

    Be there to listen and open some doors. It'll be tough on you, but I can guarantee that they are living the trauma and they need help.

    Good luck and be there.
  8. pigpen02


    Mar 24, 2002
    Be an active listener, and try to make them feel understood. Use "i'm listening" noises, like "hmm," "wow," "bummer," and the like to show your being attentive during long talks.

    Try paraphrasing back to them what they've told you, with an emphasis on their part in it: "It sounds to me like you're feeling x because of y." Use open body language and don't be afraid to touch supportively where appropriate.

    Most people telling you their problems aren't looking for you to solve them, and unsolicited advice is often more trouble than help.
  9. Like Non (dude, sorry I didn't know about your problems until very recently, glad you're doin' better!), I went through a pretty tough time a few years ago (not medical, personal: divorce), and a lot of folks here were "here" for me.

    It was good to know that I wasn't alone, and that there were those about that I could just unload my anger/fear/sorrow/pain/frustration/etc. on, and they'd listen, and not judge me or my situation. Sometimes you just need to let off steam, so to speak, and the best thing a friend can do is let you do just that, blow off some steam without trying to "fix" it.

    Unless someone directly solicits your advice, here's my unsolicited advice: Don't give it.

    Just listen.

    If they want or need help or advice, trust me, they'll ask for it.
  10. :bag: Ouch! That's gonna hurt. Next time, trust in Jesus, but TRY the brakes....


    MAJOR METAL The Beagle Father Staff Member Supporting Member

    Sometimes it is just best to listen and be their with them then to offer words.
  12. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    There are a lot of resources out there. I don't know about Canada, but every American major city has a local suicide crisis line, and there's the national line, 800-SUICIDE. These numbers are not just for people about to commit suicide, they're also there to help those that are in your situation and don't know what to do.

    As others have said, you're putting your focus on what to say. There is nothing you can say that is going to magically cure someone from whatever ails them. Listen, be supportive, help people take things one day at a time, one step at a time. Do more listening than talking.
  13. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Say what you said. Either that or "Man, that's the suXors!"

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