All you need to do is start the conversation. By being understanding, tactful and gentle, there’s a better chance that someone will want to talk. Some useful phrases are: - Are you ok? - Is there anything you want to talk about? - Is there anything I can do? - Why don’t we have a coffee and talk about it? - I’ve been a bit worried about you. - I’d really like to help
Avoid responses which reject how they are feeling, lessen how they feel, or try to change their view of their situation.
Examples of what NOT to say
It’s not that bad
Things will get better
How could you be so selfish?
These reactions may make the person feel misunderstood and more isolated than ever.
Nobody expects you to know the answers. Not knowing the answers doesn’t mean you’re not helping. You can really help by being an active listener.
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