7 Tips to Help Comfort a Friend Who Is Hurting

Going through tough times, like coping with a divorce, death of a loved, difficult diagnosis, or job loss, can be challenging.

Watching someone you care about struggle can be equally challenging. Knowing exactly what to say or how to show up for that friend is not always straightforward — and if you struggle with it, you’re not alone.

TikToker and happiness writer Stephanie Harrison (@stephaniehson) posted a video on the topic in January that garnered more than 633K views. “Sometimes in an effort to alleviate their pain, as well as our own discomfort, we accidentally end up hurting them,” she says in the video. One mistake she points to is ignoring the hard thing your friend is going through.

Avoid this pitfall and simply tell them that you’re there for them. “Ask what kind of support they need from you,” says Lea Trageser, a licensed marriage and family therapist and the owner of Helix Marriage and Family Therapy in Hyde Park, New York. “This helps build a roadmap of how you can best support them through the difficult time.”

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