It could have been your friend, your sister or your child. But somehow, over the course of your life, you have probably had someone come to you for comfort and consolation. They could have chosen you to allay their worries and sorrows after a long sad day. If we are all being honest, I'm sure we can all confess that at many such times, we have no idea what to do and how to comfort this person that has chosen us as their fortress.

Here are some ideas from respected people around the web on how to deal with these situations:

Don't Tell Them Things Could Be Worse

This is often what we impulsively do in these situations. We try to comfort the person distressed by telling them, “At least this and that isn't the case.” What we fail to realize is that these kinds of statements invalidate people's suffering. These statements make people feel like they're wrong to feel distressed about their situation and that their sadness is not warranted. So in saying that, you will be adding to their suffering by suggesting to them that they are not as emotionally strong as they aught to be.

Do Ask Them If They Want To Talk

All people carry their sorrow differently. To some people, talking about what is distressing them might bring relief. It might help for them to talk in detail about what happened and to say exactly which points distress them most. But other people may prefer just forgetting about the whole incident once and for all. Bringing up memories of what happened may throw them into a new fit of distress. So you want to know exactly what the person you're with prefers. And to do that, you may ask them if they want to talk about what happened.

Don't Make It About You

When people tell us their problems, we sometimes have the tendency to want to out-problem them. So right after they they have poured their heart out to you, instead of tending to their sorrows and letting them have their moment, you start to telling them of how you always have a heap of concerns on your shoulders too, how things aren't so right with your own life. Again, this just serves to invalidate their feelings and to make them feel like they're wrong to feel as bad as they do, because after all, you have problems too and you aren't too sad about it. To do that is to pour shards of glass on a wound.

Do Offer Your Help

It's comforting for most people in distress to know that they have someone to turn to, that they are not alone. After you have heard someone's problem, think of ways in which you can be a good Samaritan to them and offer your help. They may accept it, they may not accept it, but either way, your offer will likely help them feel like there is someone in the world looking out for them.

Do Try To Actively Cheer Them Up

It's common for us to assume that the world is a dark and dreary place whenever we're feeling down. We may adopt a very restricted and depressing view of things at such times. So it may be helpful for you to show your friend or family member, that there are still things in the world that beckon his or her laughter even though some bad things happened. Go ahead and try to put a smile on the person's face by inviting them to a fun activity or showing them something amusing. By doing this, you would be bringing light to their darkening world.

Life is difficult and the problems that people share with us make it even more difficult. But luckily, there are tips and tricks like this to make things all the better!

Author's Bio: 

Nelu Mbingu is a self-improvement blogger who writes thought-provoking articles on a variety of topics relating to personal growth and social success. You can find her on her blog and on Twitter as @NeluWisdomLover.