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to continue the thread of what you do when someone close to you is unhappy - offer comfort, solutions, or just leave them alone -

what do you do when you know they want a solution but you don't have any ideas? how do you offer comfort when you know it won't help?

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( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
antimony
Nov. 28th, 2001 03:27 pm (UTC)
me too!
I have another recurring dilemma: how does one not offer comfort (or try) when the other person doesn't want it, but is exuding huge upset vibes that beg to be comforted. Sigh.
oscuridad
Nov. 28th, 2001 04:45 pm (UTC)
Hmmm...
I guess...I wish I knew! Im sure it's different for every person. Some people want to be left alone, but other people (me) want to be told over and over that it will be okay, even if the person saying it can't really change things. I think the important thing is to let the person know that it matters to you that they're unhappy. Even if you can't fix or change the situation, I generally find that people want a place to dump all the "me!me!me!" that they've been storing up and if you just listen to them talk and explain they feel a lot better.

I don't know if that makes any sense...I always feel like I'm horrible at comforting people, but for me at least, what I look for when someone is trying to be supportive of me, is just for them to loan me some of their mental space to re-organize my own thoughts in. (kind of like unmounting the disk to defrag!)

I hope things get better :)
tx
Nov. 28th, 2001 05:05 pm (UTC)
it's just me, but i always offer comfort. solutions too if i think it'd help and i have a clue. if i don't have a clue, i try to think of someone who's been through something similar and get them to help.
amergina
Nov. 29th, 2001 05:57 am (UTC)
Maybe tell them something like: "Hey, I know you're upset and I really wish there was something I could do."

Sometimes just knowing that someone cares, even if they can't offer a solution, is the best thing...
mh75
Nov. 29th, 2001 10:19 am (UTC)
comfort?
I think its usually the case that i can't suggest a really novel solution to a problem. We're all smart - if the solution is obvious, we already really know what it is, even if we don't want to act on it.

I think the best comfort is to be available, and to acknowledge that something is going on. I figure one of the best things i can do for someone is to just let them talk, and bounce ideas around. And even people who don't want to be bothered while they're upset seem to be thankful if you just let them know you're available if they need you.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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