Sadness is a normal human feeling. It is very kind and natural to want to console a friend, loved one, partner, or acquaintance who might be sad. You can help someone who is very sad by showing them your concerns (through empathy, human warmth, and validation of their feelings), cheering them up, and doing positive activities with that person.
Method 1 of 3: Show concern
Step 1. Approach this person
In order to help someone who is sad, you need to be able to approach that person and start the conversation. How you decide to approach her depends on the relationship you have with her.
Walk up to that person and start the conversation. You can start by saying something like, “Hi, how are you? If this person answers: "I'm fine", you can say to him: "I have the impression that you are sad, you want to talk about it? If she says no, you must respect her decision to be alone. You can then tell him: "I understand, I am here if you need to talk about it". If you wish, you can try approaching her later to ask how she is doing
Step 2. Give her your support
Communicate with your friends and relatives and let them know that you are there to support them.
- Let that person know that you really care and care about them and that you are there for them. Offer to help him. You can say something like, "I know you are very sad and I just wanted you to know that I am here for you".
- Ask him what you can do to help him. You can say to her, "I wish I could help you as much as I can, is there anything I can do? We can talk about it if you want”.
Step 3. Show empathy
In order to empathize, you need to adapt to each other's feelings and emotions. If he's sad, you must also look worried. Try to feel what the other is feeling and reflect those feelings. You should not smile or laugh if the person in front of you is crying or sad.
Express your warmth and understanding. Use physical contact such as a hug or hold her hand if you feel comfortable enough and think it is appropriate. You can also ask him: "can I take you in my arms?" "
Step 4. Validate their emotions
Many people feel sadness in the face of adversity, it can be a normal reaction in a very difficult situation. By validating or normalizing their sadness, this person can come to accept their emotions.
- For example, you can say to him: “I understand why you are sad. It's logic. It's such a difficult situation, I'm sorry for what you have to endure”.
- Don't tell this person that they shouldn't feel anything. Never tell her something like "don't be sad". It invalidates what she feels.
- You can also normalize these feelings by giving your friend information about sadness, grief, and loss. You can explain to her that it is normal to feel denial, anger, or other grieving reactions during these kinds of situations.
Step 5. Let that person cry
Crying can actually improve one's well-being by releasing the emotions that have built up. Encourage your friend or loved one to let their emotions out if they feel like doing so.
- Just sit down with your friend who is crying. You can give him a handkerchief, rub his back (if appropriate), or say, "Go on, get him out".
- You can go on to say, “It's okay to cry, sometimes it's good to let your emotions out”.
- Avoid saying, “Please don't cry”. This tells him that he shouldn't cry or that you feel uncomfortable about his sadness.
Step 6. Listen to it carefully
Listening attentively focuses only on that person and what they are going through. Try not to think about what you are going to say next and just listen to what that person has to say.
Ask questions to ask for an explanation to show him that you are listening carefully. For example, you could say, “I understand that you are very sad about the loss of your dog and you want to find him, is that right? "
Step 7. Give him the space he needs
Be respectful of the space and your friend's wishes. If he doesn't want to talk about what's bothering him, you can help him start to feel better by doing activities with him.
To show him that you understand his need for space, tell him, “I understand that you don't want to talk about it or that you want me to leave you alone. I'm here for you if you need to talk about it or if you want us to spend time together”
Method 2 of 3: Help this person feel better
Step 1. Be positive and optimistic
This means that you don't have to feel overwhelmed by this person's sadness. You need to be able to regulate your own emotions and not feel overwhelmed, otherwise you won't be able to help your friend.
Take a break from the conversation if you need a minute to collect your thoughts. For example, you could apologize for going to the bathroom. Take deep breaths or let your emotions out if necessary
Step 2. Give her a gift
According to the five languages of love, many people enjoy receiving gifts because it shows love and support. It can help a lot to cheer her up when she is sad and show her that you are thinking of her and that you are supportive of her.
- Give her, for example, flowers, a greeting card or her favorite candy.
- If you don't have a lot of money, you can write him a nice letter or give him a gift that you made yourself (eg a work of art).
Step 3. Help her change her negative thoughts
Some people may have negative (and mistaken) thoughts that increase their sadness or guilt. For example, some people tend to make events or situations more personal, which creates unnecessary negative emotions.
- For example, your friend might say to you, "It was my fault that Rex ran away." Help him redirect these kinds of thoughts by offering alternatives and calmly showing him your disagreement. For example, you could say, "You love Rex and have done everything you could to take care of him." Maybe he just found a way out and he couldn't find his way home”.
- Some people might have negative thoughts when trying to predict the future, for example if your friend says to you, “I'm never going to find Rex”. This is an inaccurate thought because he cannot predict what is going to happen. You can gently say to him: "Is it possible that you find him anyway?" I hope you can get it back”.
- Avoid blaming others. Encourage your friend to focus on what he can do to resolve the situation rather than thinking about the responsibility of others. This may increase his anger and reduce his ability to think logically and solve problems.
Step 4. Solve the problems
When people feel very sad, they can sometimes find it difficult to think rationally and seek solutions to their problems. Encourage your friend to observe their emotions for information. Her sadness tells her that something is wrong and needs to be resolved. You can then help him find as many solutions as possible and put them in place.
- For example, if your friend has lost their dog, you can say, “Let's work on a solution together. What do you think we should do first? "
- Suggest possible solutions. For example, you could say, "I have an idea, why don't we start by calling the shelters near here to see if someone has found it?" "
Method 3 of 3: Do activities with this person
Step 1. Encourage positive substitution techniques
Help your friend find activities to help them cope with this moment. This will allow him to deal with negative emotions and situations. This way, he can express himself or heal without hurting himself more.
- Here are some examples of positive ways to deal with sadness: spiritual or religious activities, the creative arts, activities in nature, physical exercise, mindfulness, and meditation.
- Avoid drinking or using excess substances with your friend or family member. It might hurt her and does not encourage a healthy way of dealing with or reducing her sadness. To discourage him from using drugs or alcohol, you can give him information and suggest alternatives by saying, “I have read that relieving his sadness with alcohol can create even more problems and reduce pain. ability to manage their emotions and the situation. How do you feel about watching a comedy together? "
Step 2. Distract that person
Often times, this person might get stuck and rehash their sadness, overthinking it, or thinking negative thoughts. Help your friend to distract himself to prevent him from brooding.
Here are some useful distractions and anchoring techniques: watching a comedy, listening to happy music, dancing, naming colors or objects in the room, and playing a game
Step 3. Spend quality time together
When you spend time with your friend, you are helping them console themselves and fostering a sense of social support. It is essential to help him overcome his sadness.
- Do creative activities together like painting, drawing, playing music, writing a song, making candles, etc.
- Get out into nature. Have a picnic in a place with a beautiful landscape. Head to the beach and relax in the sand.
- Exercise together. You can go hiking, running or just going for a walk.