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How To Comfort Someone Over Text

Your friend needs comfort. But you aren’t geographically close, or they aren’t able to see you in person right now. Is a text message sufficient?

In short, yes because it’s far better than no communication at all.

For whatever reason, sometimes we have to send comfort via a text message. Yes, a hug or being there in person would be ideal, but sometimes it isn’t possible.

Instead, think of writing a text message as someone would have written a heartfelt letter in the ‘olden days’. You can still make it warm and comforting and let the person know that your thoughts are with them right now.

If recent times have taught us anything, its that we have to sometimes improvise when it comes to close personal contact. So, text messages are the next best thing. Here are some useful tips on what to write in your text, what not to write and some examples to help you out:

 

10 Tips For How To Comfort Someone Over Text

 

1. Call If You Can

Remember that it’s hard to always convey tone correctly in text messages, so ideally a call would help show your true emotion and comfort to your friend and will help you gauge what they need help with and how they are feeling. Of course, that’s not always possible to make/receive calls but in the first instance, consider a call before a text.

2. Actually Send A Text Message

Don’t be fooled into thinking that it’s not sufficient, so that you don’t send a message at all. I can tell you, people remember who wasn’t there for them in hard times. So don’t be that person. Make contact in any way you can.

3. Be Honest

There is nothing wrong with being honest and starting your text with saying ‘I don’t have the words’, ‘I don’t know what to say to you’. But you are still trying.

4. Make It About Them

Your friend is going through a tough time. They don’t need to hear that your microwave won’t work and your boss is an idiot right now. Unless of course they ask, then it’s okay to share but just pass it through a filter of ‘is this even a problem in the grand scheme of things right now’.

5. Don’t Say….

Avoid the bad cliches, political opinions and religious speeches right now. Understand your audience member – telling someone that their mom/dad/dog has ‘gone to a better place’, ‘is needed in Heaven’, ‘It’s the Government’s fault’, ‘there’s plenty more fish in the sea’ …(you get the idea) won’t go down too well if they aren’t into that, and it will do the opposite of actually comforting them.

6. Show Them You Understand

If you’ve been in the same situation before, tell them you ‘understand what they are going through right now’ or if you haven’t, say ‘I can’t even imagine what you are going through right now’. Put yourself in their shoes right now – what would you want to, or need to hear from your friend?

7. Offer Your Condolences 

Make it simple, and to the point. “I’m sorry for your loss of xyz.” “This must be a really rough time right now.”

8. Consider Their Humor

Much like point 5 above, consider the receiver’s sense of humor before you start sending funny gifs, memes or adding excessive emojis via text. And make sure you understand what the emojis that you are sending actually mean! That can be awkward, believe me! Sure, adding humor to situations can help, but approach with caution right now.

9. Offer Help

Include in your message that you are ‘there for them’, ‘thinking of them’ and that you also want to help in any way you can. Offers of help are great, but go the extra step and take initiative, with assistance like ‘I’m dropping into the store first thing in the morning, let me know what I can pick up for you.’ Or, ‘I’m baking a cake and will drop it at your front door tomorrow.’ If you know what they need (dog walked, babysitting, house cleaned, meals prepared etc), just arrange it and tell them you’ve got it covered. One less thing on their plate to worry about right now.

10.  Follow Up 

So, right now the text message is sufficient. Ask them, or tell them, that you will follow up with a phone call tomorrow/next week, or arrange a visit at a convenient time for them. Either way, ask if it’s okay to call them/follow up/see them and then make sure you actually stick to it. Put a reminder in your calendar.

 

It’s hard to see those we care for going through a tough time and even harder when we can’t be there to personally cheer them up. We can still be thoughtful and cheer our loved ones up via text, it just requires a little thought about tone and making what you say appropriate. 

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