Things to Say to Someone Who Is Suffering

I’m so sorry you’re going through this.

It makes me sad/angry to see what you’re going through. You deserve better.

It won’t always be like this.

It’s OK to be broken sometimes.

Not everyone could handle this with as much grace/bravery/whatever as you.

Sometimes all you can do is get through the day and that’s enough.

I know it’s overwhelming right now, but I believe in you.

Tell me how bad it really is.

What do you wish someone would say to you right now?

Can I pray for/over you?

Obviously, use discretion, but these are all things that you can say to someone going through the worst life has to offer. When dealing with someone in that position, resist the urge to try to convince them things aren’t so bad, to look at them more positively or to practice gratitude. Sometimes life really is that bad and your efforts to convince them otherwise will only highlight how hopeless they feel and make them feel even more isolated by their pain. Pep talks and positive thinking have their place, but in a society where everyone’s supposed to be happy all the time, it’s a gift to demonstrate loving acceptance of someone’s pain.

If you want to lift their spirits, distraction is your best bet. Crack jokes, tell a funny story, let them reminisce about better times or share a bit of harmless gossip.

For more ideas on how to be there for someone going through a terrible time, check out my post What To Do When Someone Starts Crying In Front of You.

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