“Let me know if I can help.”
It’s a well-meant, reassuring phrase when someone you care about is going through a difficult time. But despite our best intentions, many of us don’t really know what to say or do when our friend loses a loved one or our colleague faces a life-altering illness.
There’s a fine line between giving someone space to grieve or respecting their need to deal with the tragic situation in their own way and reaching out for support. Although it’s kind not to want to burden your friend when they’re going through such a difficult time, a lot of people find it hard to ask for help when they need it.
That’s why it helps to make a specific offer when someone could use your assistance. Instead of saying “let me know if you need anything“, try to come up with something concrete that you could do to help them: watch their kids, cook a comforting meal or call them once a week to see how they’re doing. Just make sure you only offer help you’re genuinely able to give – letting your friend down when they’re counting on you is inconsiderate.
So what can you do or say to help out? Have a look at these 33 ways to best support your friend or loved ones in need.