There are so many instances when you really want to go out and cheer someone up but you don’t know how. Then you feel limited and you let people vent out their sorrows. However, if you knew how to cheer them up, things would probably become very different. This skill—the skill of cheering people up—is a friendship sealer. You instantly make a bond with the person you are able to cheer up.
If you find it difficult to cheer people up, these are some of the ways you can go about it.
Start by separating them from the crowd. Find a situation or a place where you can be alone with them. Make them sit down. Sit down next to them. The very act of sitting down together is reassuring for people who are going through a rough time.
Do not prod them too much. Do not ask about what’s going on.
A very important aspect of cheering people up is that you have to give them enough time. They have to understand that you are with them. They need to trust you in order to start talking. If there is already a trust factor between you, this will be easier. If there isn’t, you should be prepared to give them up. Maybe they will not open out at all when you first meet them. Be ready to leave it at that.
Do not ask redundant questions like, “How are you feeling?”, “What do you plan to do now?”, etc. Such questions can only bring more misery to them. In fact, you should not ask questions at all. Be with them for a while. If they want to continue to talk with you, then you should take this as a sign that they want to talk with you too.
A little physical touch of affection can help. It could be a comforting shoulder given to them to cry on or a reassuring pat on their hand. This can give people a lot of strength.
When they eventually talk, listen to them. Most people don’t want advice or suggestions when they are feeling low; they just want to let it all out. Be the ears they want to talk to.
Do not linger too much on what has happened with them. Do not give examples from your own life. That would be just like adding salt to the injury; like freshening up their hurt. Instead, talk normally. Most people would love that. When we are going through a calamity, the most reassuring thing is the feeling that everything is getting back to normal.
You won’t be able to be a master at this act right from your first time. But life will give you many opportunities to cheer people up, to give them consolation.