Being there for someone during a tough time can be tricky. Obviously you want to support them, but sometimes you’re not sure exactly how to do that. Should you provide advice? Give them some space but let them know that you’re there if they need you? Bring them food? Who really knows, right? I covered this topic for Elite Daily recently, but then something happened yesterday that gave me some additional insight.
I was upset about a comment someone had made to me in passing. She meant nothing by it and I knew that, but her words still stung. I was venting to my best friend about it and when I was done she said, “You’re absolutely right to feel that way.”
You’re absolutely right to feel that way. The phrase was so simple, but it instantly made me feel so much better. It didn’t negate what the other person had said to me, but knowing that my hurt was justified made the situation better.
When you’re struggling or upset, sometimes you just need a person who cares about you to tell you that you’re right. That the way you’re feeling is acceptable and normal. We’re constantly being told to “calm down” or “chill out” or “relax” so it’s nice to hear someone who loves you say, “You’re right to be upset. It’s okay to be mad. You’re not out of line.”
Having your feelings validated doesn’t resolve the problem, but it’s a source of comfort when you’re experiencing something crappy that you’d rather not be dealing with. Next time a friend or a family member is on the express train to Struggle City and you’re not sure how to help, try telling them that they’re right to feel the way that they do. You may not be able to fix the problem for them (as much as you wish you could) but providing this simple kind of emotional support can be a huge help.