Also don’t try and pretend that you fully know what the person is going through. Instead, you could use something like “I can just imagine, really, what you’re going through, that sounds awful”. What I also found helpful to ask after some ranting or sobbing is the question: “What do you need? Or can I help you somehow?” In that case, you avoid giving suggestions which could be useless for that person.
Make the person think about ways that could help to comfort or to solve something in a situation. In the whole “making things better” aspect, my dad taught me that you should always leave a place better or at least the same as when you came into it. He was referring to camping in the woods, but I try to apply it to a ton of other things, too. This has been ingrained in me too, originally it hit home catering for me personally. I got a lot of referrals from my clients.
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