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How to give emotional support, in 6 steps

How to give emotional support, in 6 steps

May 3, 2024

When it comes to passing through especially fragrant moments in our lives, we often tend to forget that these negative emotions and feelings are experienced in a very different way if we have the support of others. Sadness, helplessness or disappointment do not have to be suffered in isolation; if we live in society it is to receive help and to help others.

In fact, it is normal that when we see that someone is mentally ill, we get the urge to help. But knowing how to give emotional support is not necessarily easy , and it is relatively easy to make mistakes.

  • Related article: "What are Psychological First Aid?"

Tips to know how to give emotional support

In the following lines we will see several tips to know how to give emotional support from relatively simple steps. Applying them well requires a certain practice, but with time and effort, you will most likely see significant improvements in your way of help the other cope better with their bad emotional situation .


1. Choose the right context

Choosing a correct time and place is a necessary and insufficient condition to know how to give emotional support.

The main thing is to be at a time that is not transitional, that is, that will not end soon (for example, the passage through an elevator), which is not strongly linked to an important experience unrelated to what produces discomfort ( for example, the conclusion of a paper in a congress) and that allows to have a certain privacy .

The physical characteristics of the place are also something to consider. Much better if it is a place with few distractions and in which communication is easy: free of noise, sudden changes, etc.


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2. Let the other person give the information they want

It is important not to pressure the other to give us all the necessary information to know exactly how he feels. The mere fact of feeling that pressure is another cause of stress that accentuates the discomfort.

In case you notice that it closes in band, it is enough to give him the opportunity to open up more directly expressing that he can count on you for whatever, and that he notices that he will not be judged.

For the latter it is necessary to maintain a serious whole that expresses empathy, and do not joke too much about the possible cause of the emotional pain of the other . It is a mistake to imply that what makes you feel bad is really silly, because from that perspective it is impossible to connect with the other.


3. Exercise active listening

When the person talks it is important that you give signs that you are making efforts to understand what he says and the implications of what he says. Being honest about what makes us feel bad is something that intimidates a lot of people, and if you do not feel that you are serving much, the incentives to accept our support vanish.

To do this, practice active listening and make this moment really a symmetrical personal interaction in which one person expresses himself and the other supports her and tries to understand how the other feels. Maintain eye contact, make comments without interrupting sharply , recapitulate the information given by the other, etc.

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4. Validate your emotions

It clearly shows that you know that what you feel makes sense, although obviously you do not feel the same. This is important, because otherwise it is taken for granted that there is a disconnect between you because you have not gone through exactly the same thing. Do not ridicule their ideas or their feelings, on the contrary, it shows that you know they have a reason to be.

5. Talk about your perspective

This is something that many times is obvious, but it is very useful. It is true that when giving emotional support the important thing is what feels who is experiencing emotional distress , but it is also true that if you talk about what you believe, you will indicate that you are involved in your case and try to draw parallels between what happens to you and what has ever happened to you. In addition, this perspective can help you see your experiences from another point of view.

So, when you have already heard the main thing about your case, you can give it this brief feedback, but without letting the conversation go on to deal with a totally different topic: it must be something that is included in the act of supporting it so that it happens to him

6. Point out the possibility of a hug

It is possible to give rise to that, if the other person wants it, give you a hug . But do not ask for it directly or make a clear gesture that shows that you are going to hug, because if you do not want to, this can leave a bad taste in your mouth when you feel guilty if you refuse.

Normally the best thing is something more subtle: taps on the shoulder or on the back that give an excuse to get close and that, if the other wants, can become a hug. Let the other one take that step.


10 Ways To Support Your Partner (May 2024).


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