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Becky G
Becky G
April 15, 2024

How Comforting Can Words Really Be?

How Comforting Can Words Really Be?

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When someone close to you is going through something, usually all you want to do is comfort them. However, choosing words to help someone is difficult. What you say matters, and how you state it also is important. Sometimes, people get caught up in the quantity of words that are used, thinking the amount of effort and time shows how much you care. As that does show effort and compassion, most of the time we find ourselves stuck on what to say. Apologies are like this as well. We want to show exactly how much we care but don’t know exactly how to state it.

 Comforting someone is a little bit more tricky than apologizing though. When you are apologizing, you are put in a position where you understand how they feel and how that makes you feel in return. Comforting someone isn’t always like that. You may not know exactly how they are feeling at all. Having a personal experience or being able to relate to what they are going through makes everything a little bit more easier, but sometimes you don’t have the experience to relate to them. What do you say then? Validating their emotions is important because you want them to see that you understand why they would feel the way they do and that you aren’t judging them. Physical affection like hugs are good too, but you should ask first just in case they don’t want it. How would you feel if you were in their position? It’s important to understand them and where they’re coming from, if you don’t you will find yourself not really knowing what to say or do. 

On the other hand, it’s also important to not allow yourself to get sucked into manipulation. Sometimes people will see how you care about them and put energy into comforting them and then go and use that kindness against you. They will put you in positions where you feel as though you need to use your own time and energy to make them feel better when in reality they just want validation. In some circumstances however, people will use this strategy because they really do need help. “Looking for attention” is a statement often used negatively, when sometimes it’s because people really are struggling and really do need it. In this case, it’s important to protect your own well-being but also listen to what they say and try to get them some real help. It’s good to discuss with them outlets they can go to and how to get them help. It’s also important to let them know you will help them get the resources they need. 

Comfort is a feeling every human desires in times of need. It’s also a skill people develop through their own experiences. We find comfort in many things. We find comfort in TV shows, books, sports, hobbies, and other people. Words are helpful when comforting someone, but it’s really the meaning that is comforting. We don’t always need to use words to give meaning. Sometimes acts can be comforting too. Buying something that has meaning and special value to someone is comforting. Being there for someone when they need it is comforting. Observing and noticing someone is comforting. You do not need to use words to comfort someone when you really know and understand them. Do not think too hard about what to say, because sometimes you don’t need to say anything at all.

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About the Contributor
Juliet Weston, Writer
Juliet Weston is a sophomore at FGHS. She loves to read and play guitar. She plans on being a Lawyer in the future.

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