hi peer supporters! I’ve always struggled to show care and comfort to those in distress. For example, I’m not sure how to react when my friends are upset and I can only awkwardly try? or watch my other friends talk to them. This makes me feeI bad. think it’s because I’m not used to it and am afraid I’ll say the wrong thing. How can I improve on this? Do you have any tips as a peer supporter?
Hi @purple ! Firstly, thank you for being so brave to ask this question it’s okay to feel awkward or scared to say something wrong when comforting someone and actually this is something that many people suffer with although we’re peer supporters, we are also scared to say something wrong and scared to make situations worse.
That said, some ways to react will be by firstly comforting them. An example will be when your friend does badly for an exam and cries. You can ask if your friend wants a hug or someone to jst be there for them and wait for them to calm down. Take things slowly and ask if they feel comfortable to talk about what happened. If so, you can listen to them and try to empathize with them if not, you can always support them by staying with them through a difficult time. Either way, you’ll be helping them!
If you’re worried about saying the wrong things, you’re not alone. Something’s that might help might be to avoid using accusational language and if you wish to give your personal experience you can ask for permission from your friend first!
Hope it helps and all the best! Don’t worry and take things one step at a time