Sometimes, for some of us at least, it can be hard to get across that we actually care about someone or something. Or maybe we don’t fully understand or actually care, but we need to not alienate them. If you’re as socially awkward as I can be and need a little help, here are a few steps to showing care and concern.
1: Pay close attention.
Whatever they’re talking about, listen closely and carefully. Details, emotions and hints are everywhere in conversations when someone is in need. Make mental note of everything that seems relevant to them, as it may become more important later on. When discussing sensitive subjects it can be hard to ask people to repeat themselves and clarify, so the more you pick up the first time, the better.
2: Physical contact.
When someone needs comforting physical contact is often the most reassuring thing. Don’t necessarily start hugging someone you hardly know, but a bit of friendly contact like a hand on a shoulder can make all the difference.
3: Meet their needs.
After the conversation you will have a fairly clear idea about what you could realistically do to help. Offer help when you can and make it clear that you aren’t being inconvenienced.
4: Offer food or drink.
More comfort is found in food and drink. If you can’t do much for them, at least bring them a stiff drink, some chocolate or a pizza. Something comforting, easy to consume and that may help even them out a little. It also encourages normalcy by giving them the option of sitting down to a regular meal and gives more chance for conversation.
5: Give them some space.
If there is literally nothing you can do for them, make sure they are in safe hands and give them plenty of space. Having everyone looming around can sometimes make people feel like they’re causing drama, which makes them postpone the natural recovery process. Instead, back off until you’re useful or called upon and try and encourage others to do so as well.
And that’s how I manage when I’m not sure how to react when someone is distressed.
What would you suggest adding? Open to any advice.
TTFN and Happy Hunting!