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belijojo
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05 Feb 2024, 4:25 am

I often meet people who need comfort in my daily life and in the haven section. But simply agree with their feelings. "Right, right, right" looks very perfunctory especially with my peacefull face.

So I want to ask for some “formulas” to make me look good in this situation.


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Fnord
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05 Feb 2024, 8:12 pm

I walk away and leave "comforting" to the women.  The only exception I make is to my wife.

Yes, that seems sexist, but I get into less trouble that way -- no one accuses me of "hitting on" the distressed person or trying to take advantage of them in some way.

And I lost count of the number of times, when working the phones at a crisis call-in center, the caller (usually a woman) would ask to be handed over to a woman because "they're more sympathetic".


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Harmonie
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05 Feb 2024, 9:37 pm

Fnord wrote:
I walk away and leave "comforting" to the women.


Nooooo. Don't do that. ...Some of us don't know how to comfort people, either. :pale:


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CockneyRebel
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05 Feb 2024, 9:43 pm

Sweet Pea hugs because I'm not very good with words.


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ToughDiamond
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05 Feb 2024, 11:26 pm

Different people want different responses, so in real life I guess the first thing to do is to figure out what they want. Sometimes it's enough for them to just tell somebody what they're going through. A few empathic noises and gestures probably help, but I wouldn't do that unless I genuinely felt it. They might want advice or they might not. They might want a material intervention, or they might not. When in doubt, ask.

I've been told by a few people that I tend to make them feel better, but if so, I don't know how I do it. I don't see myself as a very tender hearted person, but other people's pain does tend to resonate with me and I like the idea of helping them out of it. But I don't know of any formula. I think just being there rather than walking away may be half the battle. Sometimes other people's problems can overwhelm me and I can feel like it's an unwanted invasion. That makes it harder to stick around.

I don't know what gender has to do with it, except that males may be more likely to pretend not to need comforting. In such a case I might try to mask my comforting actions, or I might just take them at their word and leave them to it, though I'd possibly indicate that they know where I am if they need me, or something like that.



valen
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06 Feb 2024, 12:08 am

Something I think usually helps to show you are invested is if you can ask a reasonable clarifying question, or make a reasonable inference from what they have said.

Perhaps basically similar to, "My house has flooded." "Oh no! Is everyone ok/was anyone hurt?" or asking about stuff, pets, etc. that you know might be important to them and involved.

If you can take that next step to think of their possible concern, it shows you internalized the information enough to work with it, which lets them know you were really listening and understanding. It fits well for me because it doesn't rely on conveying a very specific emotional response, but only on reasoning with a few of their emotional concerns as included factors. The other upside is that many people are good at showing a lot of elevated sympathy, but the thoughtful response shows cognitive empathy, which is more rare so can be extra appreciated.

This also opens up the option for you to hear more about their issue and learn more about what they are experiencing, because you've prompted a response but also because asking conveys you are interested in their life.

(This does rely on being in a situation where you have genuine interest in hearing more though, because if you don't actually then that might end up sad for both people.)



ocean
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06 Feb 2024, 1:19 am

CockneyRebel wrote:
Sweet Pea hugs because I'm not very good with words.


yes

Image


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CockneyRebel
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06 Feb 2024, 1:28 am

ocean wrote:
CockneyRebel wrote:
Sweet Pea hugs because I'm not very good with words.


yes

Image


:mrgreen:


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nick007
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06 Feb 2024, 8:26 am

belijojo wrote:
I often meet people who need comfort in my daily life and in the haven section. But simply agree with their feelings. "Right, right, right" looks very perfunctory especially with my peacefull face.

So I want to ask for some “formulas” to make me look good in this situation.
The way I try & comfort people is by trying to sympathize & trying to help them better address the reasons why they are upset. If I've dealt with a similar situation & might relate, I talk about that so the person would hopefully feel understood. & if I've managed to overcome the situation or I learned some things from the experience since then, I'll talk about that so the person will hopefully feel better having some tips to improve their situation. When I'm upset I want to address the cause of why I'm upset. Having a plan helps me not worry & stress about it as much. However I'm aware that lots of people do not like this practical approach & it might violate the Haven rules which is one reason I do not go there.


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CockneyRebel
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06 Feb 2024, 10:47 am

Food is a great way to comfort people.


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nick007
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06 Feb 2024, 10:57 am

I should add that sometimes just being there for the person & trying can be a big help.


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Jakki
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06 Feb 2024, 1:50 pm

nick007 wrote:
I should add that sometimes just being there for the person & trying can be a big help.



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elotepreparado
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06 Feb 2024, 2:17 pm

valen wrote:
Something I think usually helps to show you are invested is if you can ask a reasonable clarifying question, or make a reasonable inference from what they have said.

Perhaps basically similar to, "My house has flooded." "Oh no! Is everyone ok/was anyone hurt?" or asking about stuff, pets, etc. that you know might be important to them and involved.

If you can take that next step to think of their possible concern, it shows you internalized the information enough to work with it, which lets them know you were really listening and understanding. It fits well for me because it doesn't rely on conveying a very specific emotional response, but only on reasoning with a few of their emotional concerns as included factors. The other upside is that many people are good at showing a lot of elevated sympathy, but the thoughtful response shows cognitive empathy, which is more rare so can be extra appreciated.

This also opens up the option for you to hear more about their issue and learn more about what they are experiencing, because you've prompted a response but also because asking conveys you are interested in their life.

(This does rely on being in a situation where you have genuine interest in hearing more though, because if you don't actually then that might end up sad for both people.)


This one is so good! That's how I have been doing it.
When I don't know the right words or tone, I just get quieter and ask them to talk more about stuff. Usually it ends with them venting and feeling more relaxed after getting it all out of their system.

When they ask me what they should do, I answer honestly that I don't know and I just want to be there for them. Honesty :D



funeralxempire
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06 Feb 2024, 2:20 pm

A friend from Discord made this and I've found it fairly useful as a best practices guide.

Quote:
Framework for Care of an Upset Person:
Upset states are, in the vast majority of cases, less about specific solutions than they are about emotional experience, which may have been mentioned on a thread. In order to keep from escalating them, or making people feel more upset and/or rejected, it needs to be approached with this in mind. Solutions aren't wrong either, but they can't be the immediate response.

Method for Care:

1) Acknowledge and understand emotion. Start by trying to identify what is being felt by the other person. Asking directly is perfectly acceptable, as is following up with specific questions to clarify things you might be misunderstanding. This serves the two functions of giving you more information to work with, along with reassuring the other person that you are listening to them.

2) Validate emotion. Even if the other person is being 'unreasonable' to you, or their emotional state doesn't make sense after you've asked several questions, that does not mean it is invalid to them. Their emotions need to be recognized as valid and having good reason from their perspective, which may include information or experiences you are unaware of and/or they can't really explain. Most conflict escalations come from emotions not being recognized as valid like this.

3) Offer advice and/or solutions, but don't force them. Be present. Gentle reassurance is important, and touch may be good with permission (if it is a close enough social relationship offline). Let the other person vent and express themselves if needed, while asking clarifying questions like in step 1. People often need to feel emotionally validated before they are willing to talk in more detail, even close partners.

4) Repeat step 3 every 3-5 minutes if an offer for advice is not requested/accepted, and if they are no longer actively venting. This should help them calm down until you can give advice or they affirm that they feel good enough to continue without advice.


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ToughDiamond
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07 Feb 2024, 1:40 am

CockneyRebel wrote:
Food is a great way to comfort people.

Yes sometimes it's the best thing.



IsabellaLinton
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07 Feb 2024, 2:06 am

I'm really good at sending handwritten cards and notes.
Verbal support? Nope.
I'll panic and go mute.


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