Supportive Things to Say to Someone Going Through Hard Times
AVOID THIS: “They’re going to be okay.” Or “My friend’s son got the same thing and he’s totally fine now.” Sadly, as much as we want to predict a happy prognosis, it’s out of our control. Instead, keep that hope inside your heart and your caring will shine through.
Thinking of You at This Difficult Time Messages and Quotes
#2 I am devastated for you and am really concerned. Please breathe and believe that life will get better. You can survive this. I might not have the right words to say, but I am here whenever you want to talk about this.
#3 I’ve been thinking of you quite a bit lately, and all trials that you’ve been going through. Bad times don’t last forever, and eventually, everything will fall into place for you.
#4 It’s a hard thing that you’re experiencing, and I can’t imagine having to go through what you’re facing. If ever you start feeling dejected, know that I’m thinking of you and rooting for your full bounce back.
#5 I wish I had a pill to take the pain away for you. I can’t imagine how overwhelmed and exhausted you must feel. No matter what time of the day or night, if you need me, please call me.
#6 I can’t even begin to imagine the heartbreak that you’re feeling right now and wouldn’t insult you by saying I can relate. But I wanted to let you know, for what it’s worth, I’m thinking of you, and my heart weeps with you.
#7 Some of the strongest and most well-known heroes faced overwhelming odds, failed at times, but eventually conquered their obstacles. While thinking of you, I wanted you to know – now is your time to rise and conquer.
#8 I know that you’re looking at some overwhelming odds lately, and I’ve been thinking of you quite often. Just wait and see, you’ll be stronger after climbing this mountain.
#9 I am thinking of you through your tremendous loss. Though you’ll never forget and never get over the pain, there is another day ahead, and the healing process of time will do its work.
#10 I’ve been thinking of you and your struggles. It might feel like your troubles won’t end right now. But when you get to the other side of this, you’ll be stronger, wiser, and better prepared for other bumps in life.
#11 You might feel completely alone right now, but you’re not alone. I wanted to let you know that I’m thinking of you and am available if you need anything.
How You Can Support a Family Member Going Through a Hard Time
Family members need one another, and saying the right words is one of the most important things you can do when your loved one is struggling. Ideas to consider include:
1. “Thank you for all you do for us, but now is a time to take care of yourself as well.”
When a family member is going through a difficult experience, he or she might not be able to justify a much-needed break. Help your family member by letting him or her know that you’d like to take over some responsibilities while your family member tends to his or her own needs.
If you’re far away from your family member and can’t be there in person, consider sending a care package with food or some of their favorite things in addition to your message.
2. Remind your family member of something very kind he or she did for you.
Your family members have probably been there for you when you were going through hard times. Remind them of this when they’re in the same boat. They’ll be happy to know they made you feel better. More importantly, hearing about how they helped you may make them feel a little bit better.
3. “I’m proud of you.”
Depending on the nature of your relationship with a family member, there’s a good chance this important person would love to hear that you’re proud of the way he or she is dealing with a painful experience.
4. “My job is to make your life easier right now. This is how I’m going to do it. Does that work?”
Family members need to support each other when one is in pain. However, if you only ask a family member “ How can I help? ” when he or she is struggling, your loved one might not actually let you know. Instead, offer to make his or her life easier during this painful time in specific ways.
What not to say to someone going through a hard time
For any of these reasons, we might end up saying something that doesn’t help the situation (or may even make things worse). I found that phrases like these are best avoided when trying to help someone through a hard time:
- “I can’t imagine what you’re going through.” This makes the person feel isolated and unseen. Let them explain what they’re going through, instead of taking away that chance by saying you couldn’t possibly understand.
- “There will always be another opportunity.” This minimizes a loss (of a job, a relationship, a pregnancy, etc.) and may make the person feel guilty for their sadness.
- “Here’s what you should do.” Unless the person has asked for your advice (or they give permission when you ask if you can give them advice), avoid giving it. Focus on the feelings, not on the potential solutions.
- “I’ve totally been through the same thing.” Maybe you’ve been through a similar experience, but don’t assume that it’s affecting them the same way it affected you. Again, let them lead the conversation. They should be the ones to decide if your experiences can bring them any peace.
- “Things could be worse.” When someone is going through something hard, it doesn’t matter that things could be worse—they’re hard right now. Don’t try to force perspective on them. Rather, encourage them that you’ll be with them as they navigate these rough, uncharted waters.
Words of Encouragement for Hard Times
A friend is going through a messy breakup.
TRY THIS: “Even though things are rough right now, I want you to know you’re a great guy and your friends care about you.” Or “It’s painful for a relationship to end. We want you to know we’ve got your back.”
AVOID THIS: “You’re too good for them anyway.” Or “I always thought they’d be the type to cheat.” Focus your efforts on supporting your friend in a positive way, not cutting down their ex. A good thing to remember: Leave the venting to your friend…they’ll probably be fine taking on that role.
SHOW YOU CARE: Invite your friend to see some live music. Or maybe help them pack up belongings that trigger unwelcoming memories. You could even bring over a pizza and binge watch a thriller or comedy series. They’ll probably like the company more than they know.