Ever wish you could reach out to a friend in crisis, but you’re just not sure what to say? Most of us tend either to avoid the person or situation altogether or to rush in and say too much.
The list below demonstrates some ways you can effectively support people in need.
Notice how these responses acknowledge and reflect the person’s feelings without judging him or her or offering unwelcome advice.
What Effective Caregivers Say
- I cannot imagine how you are feeling. I’m so sorry.
- Coming to terms with this must be so difficult.
- I’m here for you. Is there anything you need help with?
- How are your kids handling this? Is there anything they need?
- I’ll be connecting with you regularly. Something may come up, and I’ll be here to help.
What Effective Caregivers DON’T Say
- God doesn’t give us more than we can handle; you must be very strong.
- Maybe this wouldn’t have happened if . . .
- Do you think God is trying to tell you something?
- You know, it’s been a few months; shouldn’t you be over this by now?
- I think you need to get back into life. I think the activity would be better than just sitting around.
Here are five books I recommend that have suggestions for speaking with those who are hurting.
Of course, Insight for Living cannot endorse everything the writers say in these works, so we encourage you to approach these and all other non-biblical resources with wisdom and discernment.
- The Art of Condolence: What to Write, What to Say, What to Do at a Time of Loss by Leonard M. Zunin and Hilary Stanton Zunin
- Don’t Ask for the Dead Man’s Golf Clubs: What to Do and Say (and What Not to) When a Friend Loses a Loved One by Lynn Kelly
- The Etiquette of Illness: What to Say When You Can’t Find the Words by Susan P. Halpern
- Healing Conversations: What to Say When You Don’t Know What to Say by Nance Guilmartin
- When Words Matter Most: Thoughtful Words and Deeds to Express Just the Right Thing at Just the Right Time by Robyn Freedman Spizman
Let me hear from you
There are numerous losses we all encounter in life. They slam us, cut us, shatter our hopes and invade our homes. We all need support during seasons of sorrow.
I would love to hear what has helped you, what you may be needing now, and how I can better serve you as you walk through life’s challenges and changes. Let’s connect today!
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