How Should You Support Someone Crying Tears of Grief?

By Steve Keller

Guess what?  It depends!  Clearly your response to someone crying has much to do with the relationship or level of intimacy with that person. However, given that, some supportive gestures are encouraged and some are definite no-no’s!  In general, no matter what the relationship, doing or saying nothing is not a good idea as this can often make the crier feel worse.  Don’t ever assume you know how to comfort someone, especially someone you don’t know well.  For example, some criers welcome physical touch such as a pat on the shoulder or a hug and others may find it intrusive. The less intimate the relationship, the more it is appropriate to ask if or how the person would like to be helped.

In fact, if you have no idea what to say, it’s okay to be honest and forthright about that and say something simple like “I’m here for you.”

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