Encourage a Friend by being there, offering compassion, giving them a shoulder to cry on -- there are many ways to do it. At some point, you'll need to Encourage a Friend, much the same way your friends have encouraged you. Encouraging a friend goes hand in hand with celebrating their successes as something all good friends do, right? But sometimes when something bad happens, we have a hard time figuring out what to say our do to encourage your friends. I've been on both sides of the encouragement equation, so I know how painful and awkward it can be, but it doesn't have to be that way! Here are 7 tips for encouraging a friend.
1. Stay in Touch
When a friend suffers a loss or another kind of heartbreak, sometimes we don't know what to say, so we don't say anything at all. The first step in encouraging a friend is to be there, to stay in touch. A phone call or visit can work wonders for a friend's attitude, so pick up the phone and call, or hop in the car and drive.
Be prepared for awkward, loaded silences, but also be prepared to listen. Your friend may need nothing more than a patient, attentive ear, so learn to listen without interruption, and to really pay attention what your friend is saying.
While you're listening to your friend, feel free to commiserate; I know that really makes me feel encouraged. It can truly be as simple as saying “that sucks” or “that's horrible” … sometimes to encourage a friend they just need acknowledgment that the situation they're in is wretched.