Someone once told me, “If you are with a person who is crying, do not hand them a Kleenex.” Surprised, I questioned why? He said, “because that signals to them that you want them to stop crying.”
Really? Please listen to this: If your friend (or loved one) is crying and their eyes and nose are producing little rivers running down their face, for heaven’s sake please hand them a Kleenex! It shows you are acknowledging their pain.
And please let them know that you feel their pain, by gently touching their shoulder (or arm) or by giving them a full hug.
If a physical hug doesn’t seem appropriate, hug them with words from your heart, like these suggestions from author Kim Kramer:
- “I am so sorry that you are going through this.”
- “Your pain breaks my heart.”
So, when you are with a friend who is crying, please remember a Kleenex and a hug.