Friend going through tough time

12 Things to Say to Someone Going Through Hard Times

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The important people in your life will sometimes experience challenges and heartbreaks. As a family member, friend, or even colleague, you’ll likely want to let these people know you care for them when they’re struggling. You want these people to know you’re there for them, even if all you can do is offer some small degree of comfort.

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Jump ahead to these sections:
  • How You Can Support a Family Member Going Through a Hard Time
  • What to Say to a Friend Experiencing Hard Times
  • What to Say to an Acquaintance or Colleague Who’s Going Through a Rough Patch

Consider these ideas for how to console someone if you’re aware that a friend or loved one is going through hard times. Your message may be exactly what that person needs to hear. Here are some ideas for what to say to someone going through a hard time.

Tip: If someone you know recently lost a loved one, our post-loss checklist can help them sort through the complicated tasks and challenges they might be facing. 

How You Can Support a Family Member Going Through a Hard Time

Family members need one another, and saying the right words is one of the most important things you can do when your loved one is struggling. Ideas to consider include:

1. “Thank you for all you do for us, but now is a time to take care of yourself as well.”

Family members are often responsible for taking care of each other in various ways, and that includes doing chores and key duties.

When a family member is going through a difficult experience, he or she might not be able to justify a much-needed break. Help your family member by letting him or her know that you’d like to take over some responsibilities while your family member tends to his or her own needs.

If you're far away from your family member and can't be there in person, consider sending a care package with food or some of their favorite things in addition to your message.

2. Remind your family member of something very kind he or she did for you.

Your family members have probably been there for you when you were going through hard times. Remind them of this when they’re in the same boat. They’ll be happy to know they made you feel better. More importantly, hearing about how they helped you may make them feel a little bit better.

3. “I’m proud of you.”

Depending on the nature of your relationship with a family member, there’s a good chance this important person would love to hear that you’re proud of the way he or she is dealing with a painful experience.

For example, parents might tell a child that they’re proud of how he or she dealt with a very difficult breakup.

4. “My job is to make your life easier right now. This is how I’m going to do it.
Does that work?”

Family members need to support each other when one is in pain. However, if you only ask a family member “How can I help?” when he or she is struggling, your loved one might not actually let you know. Instead, offer to make his or her life easier during this painful time in specific ways.

What to Say to a Friend Experiencing Hard Times

Friends aren’t just people we share fun times with. They’re also the people we may turn to when life is difficult. If you know a friend would like to hear from you right now, get in touch to share one of these messages:

5. “I hate that you’re going through this, but I know that you’ve got this.”

People want to know their friends don’t just like them but admire them as well. Tell a friend going through a tough time that you know he or she has the strength to overcome it.

Even better, reference a specific story or life event that proves your friend is as strong as you claim.

“You’ve got a lot on your plate. Can we set a time to chat every week?”

Maybe you’re trying to think of what to say when someone has a sick family member that needs to be cared for. In this instance, let your friend know you’re impressed with how well she’s handling caregiving responsibilities and suggest a specific time each week when she can call you to vent. You can also consider sending coffee and sweets for her to enjoy while you two chat.

7. “Remember when you were there for me? It’s my turn to do the same for you.”

Like family members, friends going through hard times often feel better when someone reminds them that they’ve been a big help in the past.

Let your friend know you want to support her by reminding her of a specific time when she did the same for you. This will boost your friend’s odds of actually accepting your offer to help.

8. “You’re my best friend. Helping in any way I can is my top priority right now. Please believe that.”

Sometimes, saying “sorry for your loss” isn’t enough to convey to a friend just how much you care when a loved one has passed on. Go the extra mile by wearing your heart on your sleeve. Tell your friend what his or her friendship has meant to you, and why helping in any way possible is very important to you.

What to Say to an Acquaintance or Colleague Who’s Going Through a Rough Patch

The people we wish to comfort aren’t always close family members and friends. Throughout your life, you’ll also likely have colleagues and casual acquaintances who are experiencing tough times. Here are some things you might say to them when this happens:

9. “Here’s how we’re going to take care of your work while you’re away.”

A colleague going through a rough patch may need to take a step back from work for a period of time to address other needs. This may be true if your colleague is in mourning, struggling with an illness, or otherwise dealing with a life challenge that consumes a lot of his or her time.

Your colleague might stress about work and wonder who will be handling all the responsibilities until he gets back. You can help your colleague in a very big way by coordinating with supervisors and coworkers to divvy up responsibilities. Get in touch and show your colleague you have work responsibilities under control.

10. “If you need a reference, networking help, anything like that at all, let me know. Happy to help!”

A colleague may be going through a tough time because he or she got unexpectedly laid off. There’s a decent chance you might be able to help by serving as a reference or introducing your colleague to others in your industry.

Offering to help in these key practical ways could make your colleague (or former colleague) feel much better.

11. “I know we don’t know each other very well, but I went through a very similar experience, and if you ever need advice, I have plenty to share.”

In some instances, it makes sense to reach out to a minor acquaintance when you hear he or she is struggling with a difficult life experience. This is particularly true if this person’s life experience is very similar to one you’ve also been through.

For example, maybe an acquaintance was diagnosed with an illness you previously had. In this case, you could reach out and let her know you understand what she’s going through.

12. Share a positive memory you have of an acquaintance.

As you probably guessed, this is another way you might comfort someone you only know through friends. A friend of a friend might be going through a rough patch, but let’s say you genuinely have a positive memory involving this person.

Consider reaching out and letting this distant friend know about it. It’s always nice to hear when you’ve made a positive difference.

Offer Support—It’ll Be Appreciated 

Again, you won’t always know what to say to someone going through a hard time. Everyone has this experience at some point. When you’re feeling that way, keep these ideas in mind.

Encouraging Words for a Friend Going Through a Tough Time

Looking for some encouraging, comforting words for a friend going through a tough time?

Sometimes it’s hard to know what to say and how to say it.  

For some, it might seem easier to avoid a friend going through a tough time, so I want to thank you for being here – looking for ways to provide comfort and support.

When someone you care about is hurting, just you reminding your friend that you’re there for them through thick and thin, good times and difficult times means a lot.

This act alone is everything to your friend – I promise.

What to say to someone going through a hard time

It can be really hard to articulate your words in the right way when you want to convey your love and support.

Many times just showing up is all that matters. How can you show up?

  • Text your friend with cute/funny messages
  • Drop by your friend’s place with a coffee
  • Pick up the phone and just say hey
  • Send them a postcard saying I love you
  • Write them a caring letter
  • Call them and initiate plans

If your friend is going through a really tough time, they might not always be as receptive as you’d like – meaning they may not respond right away.

So just keep reaching out. They need your kind heart.

Below I’m sharing examples of comforting words to say to a friend in need, but first, know this…

It’s okay to say to your friend…

I’m here to listen. I may not understand, but I care about you and even if I don’t know what to say at times, know that I want to be here for you in any way I can.

When I was going through an extremely hard time with my infertility, I had a friend tell me this and it made me feel so much better.

Remember, it’s better to say ‘I don’t know what to say’ and address the elephant in the room rather than avoiding the topic – which will make your loved one feel more alone.

Have a friend going through a tough time? Here are some words of encouragement and comfort for a friend in need. Click To Tweet

Encouraging Words for a friend going through a tough time

No matter what your friend or loved one is going through you can share some comforting words when they’re truly in need.

I hate that you’re hurting. You don’t deserve this. 

It’s not fair what you’re going through. 

Tell me what I can do to help you.

Thank you for always having my back. Now it’s my turn to have yours. 

Whatever path you take, I’m with you. By your side – always.

You are a kind, loving, beautiful person. It might be really hard to see this now, but you will get through this – and when it seems like you won’t I’m here for you.

I know you feel misunderstood at times so I’m here to listen and learn.

You matter to so many people in this world. You make such a positive impact on people’s lives (including my own) and I’m here to help you get through this difficult time.

This chapter in life sucks. I’m here to do all I can to get you out of this so you can move on to the spectacular things you want to do in life.

Hey, I was thinking of you today – I just want to say how much you mean to me.

I’m so proud of you for taking on this burden. You have done so much to help others, but now it’s time for you to look after yourself.

How can I make this easier for you right now?

It hurts me to see you going through this heavy, difficult time. I love you and I want to make this go away.

Words of encouragement and strength for a friend

These comforting words for a friend in need will remind them how fierce they are, how much they’ve already overcome and that things will get better.

This crappy time you’re going through is making you stronger and I just know you’ll get through this.

The positivity and strength you have in this tough situation is so admirable. Also, know that you can cry if you need to and I’m here to listen

Let me help you build up your strength to feel better.

Give yourself grace. You do not have to be perfect right now. It’s okay if you’re just holding things together.

I am trying to understand how hard this is to let go and I’m here to help you in any way I can.

It’s okay not to be okay. 

Related: 25 Words To Give You Strength When You’re Feeling Low

How to support a friend going through a difficult time

There are so many occasions that we feel like our hands are tied when a friend or loved one is going through a tough time.

In so many cases there isn’t a lot we can do – but we can always show our support.

Showing support to a friend definitely starts with these words of encouragement and strength, but what else can we do to help?

More ways to support a friend going through a difficult time:
  • Pick up some groceries for them or make a freezer meal and drop it off (or go over and cook for them)
  • Set up a weekly walking date (or another activity) so they can get their mind off things
  • If you have a friend going through depression send them a small thoughtful gift
  • Keep checking in – everyday or at least a few times a week
  • Just show up in any way you can

What not to say to a friend

Do you ever feel like you put your foot in it sometimes?

On so many occasions people mean well, but the wrong thing is said that makes your friend feel less supported.

The last thing you want is to convey that their pain isn’t relevant or isn’t that big of a deal.

Have a friend going through a tough time? Here's what NOT to say. Click To Tweet

Here are a few things you don’t want to say to a friend:
  • It’s no big deal
  • Good things come to those who wait
  • Maybe it was meant to be
  • There are people out there who have it worse
  • Think positive
  • Everything will be fine

Lastly, don’t give your advice, unless they ask – or you can even say… ‘do you want to vent, or do you want advice?’

Encouraging Words for a friend going through a tough time: Final thoughts

I hope these words of comfort, encouragement and strength will give you the tools to talk to your friend about what they’re going through so you can understand how to help.

And even if you can’t help in a way you’d like, know that showing you care through sharing the right words does actually help your friend.

More Mental Health Resources
  • 50 Mental Health Affirmations for Depression & Anxiety
  • 10 Reasons Life is Beautiful & Worth Living
  • Love Yourself First: Daily Guided Journal
  • 20+ Thoughtful Gifts for People with Depression

15 simple rules to help you get through tough times

March 10, 2022 Likbez Life

If there are thunderclouds on your horizon, it's time to open the psychological "umbrella".

Life is a white streak, a black streak, and hard times come to everyone sooner or later. If now it's your turn to overcome the obstacle course and bend under the pressure of circumstances, use simple psychological rules that will make passing the life test of strength much easier and more fun. nine0003

1. Keep a positive attitude

Life gives us exactly what we focus on at the moment. Pregnant women look around and are amazed at how many of their equally pregnant associates have divorced. Those dreaming of a particular brand of car are starting to see these cars on the streets day after day.

In fact, of course, there are no more pregnant women or cars anymore. It’s just that our brain, focused on its own, filters the surrounding reality and lights a signal lamp: “Here, look, urgently pay attention!” - when he sees an object corresponding to the topic of his thoughts. Psychologists call this the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon. nine0003

Output is simple. The more bad you expect, the more you will get.

It will climb literally from all cracks, driving you deeper and deeper into depression. And vice versa: thinking about the good, believing in the best, you change the settings of your own brain - and it is the good that is in the focus of your attention. Let an optimistic attitude not solve all your problems, but the world around you will become much brighter.

2. Make lemonade out of lemons

Sounds like a broken record, but it often works. Yes, there are situations in which we really cannot change anything. However, there are others when it is enough to take a step back or to the side in order to look at the problem with a fresh look, connect a little creativity - and voila, an elegant and profitable solution will be found. And not at all where you initially expected. A classic example of this approach is the story of William Wrigley, the man and the chewing gum. nine0003

In the 1990s, the company he created unsuccessfully tried to enter the market selling household items - soap and baking powder. Things were going so-so, and in order to at least somehow stand out from the competition, Wrigley came up with the idea of ​​attaching a penny piece of chewing gum to each pack of baking powder.

Alas, the company continued to work at zero, or even at a loss, clouds were gathering over the business, and Wrigley was already ready to accept the fact that he would not make a businessman. However, at some point, an unfortunate entrepreneur noticed that people sometimes buy baking powder for future use only in order to get a package of chewing gum along with it. Archimedes would have exclaimed in his place: "Eureka!" nine0003

Wrigley limited himself to completely reorienting the business to the production and sale of chewing gum, which before him was not considered to be any promising product. The result of this creativity and the success that followed it is chewed by the whole world (literally) to this day.

3. Learn From Your Mistakes

What exactly got you into a stalemate? Analyzing all the circumstances can be painful, but extremely rewarding. Break down the events that preceded the worsening of things: what went wrong, where you made a mistake, what could have happened if you had acted differently ... As a result, you will get a fairly clear idea of ​​​​how you could have avoided the onset of a black streak . Going through difficult times is much easier if you know that the chances of them repeating tend to zero. nine0003

4. Change what you can change

After identifying the mistakes and miscalculations that led you to a difficult situation, try to correct them. If something cannot be corrected right now, just pay attention to this circumstance to correct it as soon as the opportunity presents itself.

5. Be grateful

And to life - for the experience provided to you, and to those people who surround you. Think about this or that close person: what he brings into your life, what he teaches, what he lends his shoulder to, how you would live without his support. nine0003

Write a short (or long, depending on your mood) letter explaining why you are so grateful to have this person in life. Then call him or her and read your creation. The difficulties that you are experiencing at a particular moment will begin to seem less significant when compared with the real values ​​\u200b\u200bthat you have in your life.

6. Focus on what you can control

You may have made many unsuccessful attempts to correct the situation. So much so that you give up and you no longer believe that you can change anything. nine0003

Looking for what is still within your power and focusing your attention on it is one of the most effective ways to deal with learned helplessness (that is the name of the state you are currently experiencing).

Yes, you can't improve your business globally, but can you brush your teeth? Go and clean. Can you start running in the morning? Run.

The more things in your life that you can control and manage, the faster your self-confidence will return. And along with it - the will to overcome difficulties. nine0003

7. Praise yourself for the past and experienced

Sometimes we are so focused on the present moment that we do not look back. The darkness around seems hopeless. However, it is important to look back sometimes to appreciate how far you have come, how you have changed, what you have gained and what you have left behind. When you see what exactly you have already managed to overcome, the light at the end of the tunnel will become much brighter.

8. Surround yourself with people who understand you

Surrounding yourself with people who are close to you is one of the most important things you can do when you find yourself in a difficult situation. You need their love so that you have something to compare with what is happening around you. You need to take care of them in order to feel significant. You need their honesty to hear the truth and advice from those you truly trust. It is important for you to understand and accept you as you are, so as not to lose faith in yourself. nine0003

If for some reason you don't have these people around you, find a community whose members have gone through or are going through what you are going through now. From them you will receive both the necessary support and experience that will allow you to overcome difficulties.

9. Learn to forgive and let go

It happens that difficult times have a specific culprit. “If not for him, everything would have gone according to plan!” - you think and exhaust yourself with hatred for this person. This reaction is natural but destructive: you focus on negative experiences instead of looking for ways out. nine0003

Yes, let the person really be to blame, but. .. You won't be angry at the rain, because of which you get soaked to the skin? Or seek revenge on the gust of wind that broke your umbrella? No, you will do your best to get home as soon as possible and make yourself hot tea, and then fix your umbrella or buy a new one. So here. The culprit is the “element”, which is important to leave behind as soon as possible, focusing on more significant things.

10. Don't blame yourself

Let's say it again: everyone has hard times. It's not you who are bad or improvident, it's just a black streak that is an integral part of life. Every life. Of course, different people have difficulties in their own way. You got this option. Take it as a test that is important to pass with honor, and not as proof of how bad you are. nine0003

Not even your worst enemy can harm you like your own unrestrained thoughts.


11. Enjoy the simple things

One of the hardest things that hard times bring us is the loss of comfort. When you are doing well, you can find joy in dining at popular restaurants, traveling, hiring a housekeeper to make life easier, buying expensive things. When things start to go downhill, there's a lot to give up, and that's sad. nine0003

Meanwhile, to enjoy life, sometimes very simple things are enough. Instead of dining at a restaurant, find some interesting recipe and cook an original (albeit inexpensive) meal with your loved ones. Instead of traveling around Europe, get into the habit of cycling and exploring on Saturdays. Minimalism is in fashion these days. Experience it for yourself now. When else will there be such a chance, right?

12. Review your values ​​and priorities

Failure gives you a chance to revise your values ​​in life, which you didn't even think about on well-fed and calm days. Look inside yourself, look around: what is really important to you? To what extent do your dreams, hopes, aspirations correspond to what is truly significant for you? What can you give up without much worries? Losing what will break your heart? Reprioritization is often the decisive step to overcome a losing streak. nine0003

13. Cultivate patience in yourself

In childhood and youth, we sometimes think that we can get everything at once. And only with age comes the understanding that we cannot control time. No matter how strong our time management skills are, there are things for which "the hour has not yet come." A flower won't bloom in February, a baby won't be born right after a kiss, a big secure house won't be built in a day. If you want something of value, you'll have to wait. It is important to understand and accept this. nine0003

You can have everything. Just not all at once.

Oprah Winfrey

14. Remember: You always have a choice

Although many things in the world are beyond our control, we can still choose. The choice is how we look at these things, how we react to them, what actions we take, how we let circumstances define who we are. Who are you here and now? Choose. Your turn.

15. Take care of yourself

This point is omitted by many, either entangled in self-accusations, or working up to the tenth sweat, or simply postponing until better times. Meanwhile, in order to survive in difficult hours, you need to take care of yourself. What if tomorrow you are incapacitated by overwork or clinical depression? So please yourself no matter what. nine0003

Coffee in a cozy café. A walk in the park. New book. Buying beautiful clothes or accessories - let it be a mere trifle, but it will give you a piece of joy! Let yourself sleep, eventually. We are for ourselves the most important and most effective support in difficult times. You can't lose her.

Read also 🧐

  • How to stop being afraid of obstacles and problems? nine0112
  • 4 tips to help you overcome any difficulties in life
  • How to develop psychological resilience

how to support a friend in a difficult moment

A friend in trouble… Let's help with a kind word, tactful advice, a joke. How to support a friend in English?

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Can you make friends? Being a good friend means helping your friends when something goes wrong. You can communicate fluently in English only when you learn to find the right word at the right time. Today we will learn English expressions with which you can cheer up an English-speaking friend who is in a difficult situation or who is depressed for any reason. nine0003

“If a friend suddenly finds himself”… in an unpleasant situation, feels depressed (to feel down), experiences some kind of problem: lost his job, is on the verge of a breakdown (breakdown), or is simply too emotionally experiencing some event ... How to console him (to console), how to help him cope with the problem?

Helping to speak out

So what to do in such a sad situation? Often, when a person is going through difficult times, he just needs to be allowed to speak out - perhaps this will be enough. nine0134 What to do? To ask questions. To a friend who has lost his job, you could ask the following questions:

What are you going to do now?

What are you going to do now?

Have you thought about. .?

Have you thought about...?

Are you looking for another job?

nine0126 Are you looking for a new job?

Being forced to answer a question, a friend will talk, express what is sore, ease his soul and, perhaps, at least forget about the problem a little. Give him support (be supportive) - after all, as the famous English proverb says: "A friend in need is a friend indeed." ("Friend is known in trouble").

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Giving advice

As a good friend, you would be happy to give advice to a friend, but be careful not to offend the person. Put yourself in the place of your unfortunate friend and formulate advice in this way: "If I were you . .." ("In your place ..."), for example:

If I were you, I'd go to my boss and say: 'Look, you're not going to fire me. All right? I dare you to fire me.'

If I were you, I would go to my boss and say, “Look, you won't fire me, okay? Just try to fire me!”.

Avoiding faux pas

But sometimes direct advice can be taken with hostility and its meaning should be slightly softened:


I'm sorry to hear that you lost your job.

You lost your job... I feel so sorry for you!

You must be feeling awful. You must be having a hard time right now.
Have you considered calling your colleagues that you used to work with to tell them that you're looking for a job now? Have you thought about calling your former colleagues and telling them that you are looking for a new job?

The main reason why it is better to give advice in a veiled form is so that your interlocutor does not feel that you are talking condescendingly (condescending), haughtily (in a patronizing manner) or without due sympathy (unsympathetic). nine0003

Condescending - imagine the situation: you have lost your job and some well-wisher suggests that you look for a job on the Internet, as if you yourself had not guessed it before.

Patronising is when they tell you:

Don't worry, I'm sure you'll eventually get something. I mean you don't have many qualifications, but you'll probably get something. eventually.

Don't worry, you'll find something for yourself in time. Well, you're not such a valuable specialist, but you'll probably find something for yourself. With time. nine0003

Sharing experiences

How else can we help a upset person? If you know the problem of your friend, share your experience, tell about your feelings at that moment, about how it all happened and how you came out of a difficult situation with honor. In our example with a friend who lost his job, these could be the following phrases:

When I was made redundant it was a big shock.

At first I was anxious, but I soon saw that it was a blessing in disguise. nine0003

There's light at the end of the tunnel.

When I was "downsized", I experienced a great shock.

At first I was worried, but then I realized that it was only for the best.

Everything will work out.

Lend a shoulder

Give support, offer help - become a “shoulder to cry on” (literally: “a shoulder to cry on”):

nine0126 Let me know if there's anything I can do.

I'm here for you if you need anything.

Tell me how can I help you?

If you need anything, you can count on me.

Encourage a friend (to reassure), give him hope for the future, but not the formal “Don't worry, everything will be OK.” ("Do not worry everything will be fine"). It's better to say: "Something will come up." (“Something new will appear”): the phrasal verb to come up means “to appear, to arise.” nine0003

Trying to cheer up

You can also try to cheer up a friend with a joke - this is accepted in British culture (the main thing is that the joke is understood correctly). After all, when the mood is not very good and someone successfully jokes, everyone becomes more fun!

How do you like this option:

Yeah. Hey... Guess what? Did I tell you?
I just got a promotion!


Look... didn't I tell you? nine0309 I just got promoted!


Actually, we got a slightly dubious joke - but it depends on your friend's sense of humor, be guided by him so that the joke does not backfire.

Learn more