Comfort, a balm for the soul

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Robert Maurer
@robertmaurer
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Comfort, a balm for the soul

Last update: February 25, 2022

There are times when we feel sad or grief and feel the need to take refuge in someone. Then comes a hug or a simple handshake that seems to have the power to ease our emotional pain. Comfort calms the pain of those who receive it and gives a dose of well-being to those who offer it.

When we see someone crying, it seems that the impulse to offer our help is automatically activated, even if we do not know the person. Tears awaken a strange protective instinct in us because we perceive the need in another person.



This need to help each other is due to our condition as social beings. We need each other to survive. This is why when life punishes us to soften the blows, we seek in the other the balm that revives our pain.

Learn to console

Even if it seems simple, knowing how to offer comfort is important. There is no magic formula to console, but some guidelines to keep in mind when offering our help to the other.

There are people who are uncomfortable facing the suffering of others because they don't know how to act or how to behave. Other times, in the concern to help those who suffer, we resort to phrases or gestures which, far from improving the situation, make it worse.

The most important thing is to know how to listen without judging. Let them see and feel that we care for that person and that we want the best for them.


"The greatest spectacle is a brave man struggling against adversity, but there is another even greater: seeing another man rush to his aid."


-Olire Goldsmith-

Specialists advise avoiding phrases such as "don't be sad" or "don't cry". Cry sometimes it is necessary and has positive effects as it allows the pain to flow.

Empathy and closeness

Empathy is another resource that will help us offer comfort. It's good to put yourself in someone else's shoes and think about how we can help without being asked.

This will prevent us from asking too many questions and being inappropriate, which is impractical when trying to comfort someone. It is a way to let her know that she is not alone in that difficult time.

"See with the eyes of another, listen with the eyes of another and feel with the heart of another."

-Alfred Adler-

Physical contact is good when you want to relieve the pain of others. Caressing, hugging or holding hands while listening reinforces the feeling of closeness and security.


Personal comfort

Unfortunately we don't always find a shoulder to cry on to relieve our pains. Sometimes we have to go through the ups and downs of life alone - that is, seek our own comfort.

In these circumstances we have to dive into ourselves and find within ourselves the necessary resources to overcome the situation.

Crying is allowed, but we must seek distraction and refuge in those activities which give us pleasure and make us forget our affliction.


Walking, reading, painting, having fun with our pet or playing sports are some options that we can resort to as therapy so that our pain leaves us.

“Crying is sometimes the way to express things that cannot be expressed in words”.

Comfort, towards others and towards oneself, is an act of generosity. Relieving one pain is possible first of all by not leaving the other alone. It is about offering accompaniment and understanding. Give and share. This is the art of consoling.

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