I'm an INTP, and I need some help. How can I comfort people when they're seriously upset? Last time my friend was rlly miserable, I found it totally impossible to console them (without feeling fake as hell) and all I could do was shoot them logical solutions and advice - and whilst that's useful and everything, it probably wasn't what they wanted to hear, or at least they wanted more from me.
How to comfort people
It really depends on the person. You’ll know what kind of support each person needs as you get to know them and observe. Here are some examples:
My ESFJ friend just wants to be able to rant and listened to, and for me to side with her to show that she still has some support in her life. She doesn’t want someone to point out when she’s being irrational - she usually realizes that herself after she gets to rant and process her thoughts as they’re pouring out.
The ENTJ definitely doesn’t want any back patting. When he’s stressed out from work or dealing with uninspiring people, he tends to go into the inferior Fi grip. He would need me to be logical and tell him how irrational his thinking is right now (exactly in these words). It always help to logically analyze how situations could go for him, and tell him what he should be focusing on.
My INTJ best friend also wants similar logical analysis, but definitely not in person. If you try to ask questions in person when he’s upset, he’d either avoid them or let out an angry rant. He has a much easier time pouring his thoughts out through texts. We’d be chatting for a lot time during these times. He’d usually know all the answers already, but just need confirmation from a second reliable source.
Another ESFP friend, who usually has relationship problems, just wants to hear that you know she’s a strong person, that you know she already knows what’s best for her (she does). But she just needs encouragement from a friend to give her the courage to stand up for herself and make a change. Some logical steps on what to do are usually appreciated, after you already make her feel supported.
As you can see, there are no “stock” responses. It doesn’t help anyone to be fake and indulge in someone’s victim mode by saying “Aww poor you! Don’t worry, everything will get better!!!”
Another import tip: If you don’t know what the person needs, just ask them! Say, “I really want to help you, but I don’t know how. Tell me how I can make you feel better right now.” This usually works, and it shows that you do care. Some people might not know exactly what they need at the moment, but they will come back around to tell you.