6 Ways to Express Sympathy in a Considerate Way
Being a True Help to Those in Need
You’ve heard the term “the struggle is real”, and that is true. Life is complicated, unexpected, expensive, and full of setbacks. Empathy is in short supply, and even if things are going very well for weeks on end, there comes a time when the other shoe comes falling down. You’ve been there, and you know how important it is to have a sympathetic ear in those situations.
Well, another reality of life is that what goes around comes around. When you help someone in need, later on, they’ll likely help you. So if you’ve got friends and family who are going through something, your sympathy can be very helpful. Following we’ll explore six ways to express sympathy in ways that are appropriate and legitimately worthwhile.
- Help Them With Responsibilities
Vacuuming, washing the dishes, doing the laundry, mowing the lawn, cleaning the cat box, making the bed—these things are what most people have to think about on a daily or weekly basis. However, when they’ve been hurt, when they’ve been cheated, when they’re grieving, or when they’re tired, it’s hard to get those basic things done.
If you can help out with a few of their responsibilities, that helps free their minds a bit by taking one more concern away. Accordingly, they can get past the difficulty more quickly. In fact, just seeing clean premises helps some people feel better.
- Spend Time With Them, Talk With Them
It’s more important to just be there for someone, than to offer suggestions on how a hard situation may be fixed. Also, don’t pretend you know what they’re feeling, you probably don’t. At the same time, someone grieving will want someone there to be with them in a lot of cases. So be there for your friend or family member, talk with them. Be a sounding board.
- Take Time to Determine What is and Isn’t Appropriate
It’s also a good idea to be strategic about what you do to sympathize with someone. You may want to buy them a thoughtful sympathy gift. Then again, for someone in your life who has a lot of money, there may be no gift (no matter how thoughtful) that they’ll appreciate. So think out your moves, here, and choose something most likely to help the person in question.
- Join Them in Whatever Cause They’re Involved With
Sometimes someone has a cause that’s ongoing, and they’re fighting for that cause alone. Maybe you can’t help them with the cause specifically, maybe you can. If you can join them in their plight, that’s going to communicate sympathy. If this is appropriate and doable, it could be a good move.
- Take Them Out to Help Them Think about Other Things
Don’t change the subject in a conscious way. Instead, maybe take your friend by the hand and lead them somewhere they aren’t expecting. There are plenty of situations where someone just needs a change of pace.
- Buy Sympathy Flowers or Other Appropriate Gifts
Flowers are often sympathetic, and the right bouquet prepared in a vase the right way can last for weeks. If you’re struggling as regards what gift to buy someone who is grieving, flowers are a fine choice. So also are treats like chocolate or caramels.
Assisting Friends or Family During Hard Times
Buying sympathetic gifts, taking someone who is grieving out of a cloistered situation where they negatively ruminate, joining them in their cause, taking the time to strategically choose gifts based on appropriateness, spending time with them and helping out with common household responsibilities are all fine ways of showing friends or family sympathy.
Explore these options, see which ones best resonate with you or your friends, and apply them as appropriate.