Finding the Right Words: Comforting a Friend Facing Bad News

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When a friend shares bad news, it’s easy to feel tongue-tied.

But offering genuine support doesn’t require perfect words, just a compassionate heart.

Jessica Reyes, Patricia Wu, and Joann ‘JoJo’ Venant reminds us that it’s not about us, but about truly being there for our loved ones.

Start by simply validating their feelings. “That sounds awful, I’m so sorry you’re going through this” acknowledges their pain and opens the door for connection.

Next, ask “How is this landing for you?” to understand their unique experience.

Everyone reacts to hardship differently, so avoid making assumptions about how they should feel.

Don’t be afraid to express your own emotions, either. “I wish you didn’t have to go through this” shows your friend that you care and are there for them.

Remember, phrases like “calm down” or “it happens to everyone” can feel dismissive. Focus instead on listening, validating, and offering support.So the next time a friend faces difficult news, take a deep breath and remember: it’s not about saying the perfect thing.

It’s about being present, offering empathy, and reminding them they’re not alone.

Check out Joann Venant’s website for more information.

Editorial Team
Editorial Team
At the heart of MHTN - America's pioneering 24/7 Mental Health TV Network - is our editorial team, a dynamic group of professionals united by a shared commitment to transforming the conversation around mental health. Our team is composed of seasoned journalists, mental health experts, researchers, and storytellers, each bringing a wealth of experience and a passion for advocacy.

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