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  1. #41
    Member Dyoni's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010


    Haha. I definitely identify with this thread >.<

    Quote Originally Posted by Memphis View Post
    I think the hug is so funny. It's like you guys are super aware of what you are doing. Like you know what is expected of you in theory, what a hug looks like - but you don't know how hard to squeeze or where to put your hands or for how long. So cute!
    LOL. Yeah, I never know what to do, either. A lot of my family is like this, so at the end of family gatherings, it's a lot of probably too-far-away hugging and back-patting. Awkward.

    With friends, it's awkward, too... I'm really freaking tall, so I'm never sure if I should bend down a lot, or if that would seem patronizing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    To give you something else to chew on, though, I think it's different to some degree for guys. That sort of approach is within typical western social parameters for male interaction. As a woman, I feel pressure sometimes to do something I can't do easily... a lot of women (more than men) seem skilled at purely emotive comforting, and I'm aware of how much I stick out because I have a more detached approach. Even at my best level of emoting, I can't equal some other women when they emote; it's just not me.
    Ugh, yes. I hate being viewed as some sort of ice queen. It's not that I don't want to comfort people, I just don't know the best way.

    When I'm feeling emotional, I like to be left alone. I find crying in front of people to be humiliating - it's not like I don't have emotions, but they're not a show for everyone to see. They're mine. I don't know how to empathize with how others deal with emotions.

    Usually when I try to comfort people, I see it as a problem that I need to fix for them:


    I hate my job and I hate my boyfriend!


    You're not helping at all!


    This is why I stopped studying Psychology in college. I think I would be the worst therapist on the planet.

    EDIT: I just read your story, Solitare... I don't know what I would have done, either. I guess just hugged him and sat with him for a while. Hope your little guy is doing better.

  2. #42
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2010


    I'll echo what's been said already. I hate being comforted and so my first impulse is to think that the other person doesn't want to be comforted. If they do in fact want my input, I tend to assume that there is a problem and ask questions to uncover what the problem is. I will offer realistic analysis of their situation and attempt to reframe the situation in as positive a light as possible.

    By listening and then gently analyzing out loud with their continued input, I have been successful in calming others while strengthening the relationship.

  3. #43
    Emerging Tallulah's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008


    I'm pretty good at comforting people, I think. I have gotten much better at it over the years. Before, I would feel so inadequate if say, someone died or something. I would feel like anything I could say or do would be so insignificant that it almost felt better not to say anything. It felt "fake" to say something, because who needs someone else to say "I'm sorry for your loss?" I am mostly a doer. If I feel inadequate to help you through words or being a shoulder/listening ear, then I will look around and see what needs doing that the person doesn't have the emotional resources to care about right then.

    If it's something like comforting someone over a breakup, I'm much better at that. I know mostly they just need an ear, and someone to reassure them that they're valuable/loveable, and that they aren't going to die a crazy cat lady. I've gotten much better at that verbal stuff lately, because I genuinely feel it for them...I've just had to get over the awkwardness of actually saying it. It kills me when someone makes someone I care about feel that they're less than they are. So I get over myself and reassure them.
    Something Witty

  4. #44


    I am absolutely horrible at comforting people. This is mainly because I've never really had to comfort anyone, I don't know many people who ask for help from others, my friends don't really come to me for comfort and I'm too young to really comfort anyone in my family. This being said I would like to think that I'm comforting, but I have no real experience with this. And some situations, which others would wish to be comforted, I find to be self-pity and am rather direct in my advice towards them... I would comfort them if I felt that true pain existed. I'm not heartless, just lukewarm. A note on that second part of the last second to last sentence: That sounds extremely mean, I don't mean it to be that harsh, but in essence I give the degree of what I see the situation needing.

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