9 phrases highly empathetic people say to comfort a friend in crisis

There’s a subtle art to comforting a friend in crisis.

It’s not about offering solutions or fixing their problems instantly. Instead, it’s about showing empathy, understanding, and offering support.

Highly empathetic people know how to do this well. They have a knack for saying just the right thing at the right time, without making the situation about themselves.

They use certain phrases that convey their compassion and a genuine desire to help.

So, here’s a quick guide on the 9 phrases that highly empathetic people often use when comforting a friend in crisis. These phrases show their empathy without trivializing or dismissing their friend’s pain.

1) “I’m here for you”

In times of crisis, feeling isolated can intensify the distress. Highly empathetic people understand this instinctively.

And they have a go-to phrase to combat that isolation: “I’m here for you.”

It’s simple, yet deeply comforting. It conveys that they are present, ready to listen or provide support in any way they can.

But it’s not just about saying the words – it’s about demonstrating through actions that they truly mean it. They show up. They listen. They validate feelings.

This phrase works because it doesn’t offer solutions or diminish the problem. Instead, it assures the friend in crisis that they are not alone.

And sometimes, that’s all a person needs – to know they’re not navigating their crisis alone. So, “I’m here for you” becomes an anchor in the storm, a reassurance that help and support are available.

However, empathetic people know that this phrase comes with responsibility. If you say it, you must be ready to follow through on the promise it implies.

2) “You’re not alone in this”

In my own experience, I’ve found that the phrase “You’re not alone in this” is incredibly soothing to someone in crisis.

A few years ago, a close friend of mine was going through a tough divorce. She felt like her world was falling apart and that no one could understand the depth of her pain.

One day, as she shared her fears and worries with me, I found myself saying, “You’re not alone in this. I’m here with you.”

I didn’t have any magic solution to offer. I couldn’t fix her situation. But I could be there for her, listen to her, and remind her that she wasn’t alone in her struggle.

The relief on her face was palpable. Those simple words helped to lighten the weight she was carrying, even just a little.

This phrase is powerful because it reassures the person of your support. It reinforces the idea that they don’t have to face their crisis by themselves.

3) “It’s ok to feel this way”

Emotions can be complex, especially during a crisis. What’s more, society often pressures us to “be strong” or “keep a positive attitude,” which can make us feel guilty for experiencing negative emotions.

However, research in the field of psychology suggests that suppressing or ignoring emotions can actually lead to increased stress, anxiety, and even physical health problems.

Highly empathetic people understand this. They often say, “It’s ok to feel this way” to their friends in crisis. This phrase validates their friend’s feelings and gives them permission to feel and express their emotions.

By acknowledging and validating their feelings, they’re helping their friend cope with the crisis in a healthier way. It’s not about encouraging them to dwell on the negative but allowing them to accept and process their feelings.

4) “Take all the time you need”

When a friend is in crisis, it’s natural to want them to feel better as soon as possible. But healing and recovery take time.

Highly empathetic people understand this. They often say, “Take all the time you need” to their friends who are hurting.

This phrase allows the person in crisis to move at their own pace without feeling rushed or pressured to “get over it” quickly. It shows respect for their individual healing process and acknowledges that there’s no set timeline for when they should feel better.

More importantly, it lets them know that you’re there for the long haul, ready to provide support and comfort for as long as they need it.

So, remember that patience is key when comforting a friend in crisis. Allow them the space and time they need to heal, and reassure them that you’re there for them every step of the way.

5) “This is really hard, and I’m proud of you”

Coping with a crisis can be incredibly challenging. Sometimes, the person going through it may feel overwhelmed and might doubt their ability to get through it.

Highly empathetic people are aware of this and often say, “This is really hard, and I’m proud of you,” to their friends in crisis. This phrase serves two important purposes.

Firstly, it acknowledges the difficulty of what they’re going through. It validates their struggle and recognizes the magnitude of their situation.

Secondly, it provides much-needed encouragement. It expresses admiration for their strength and resilience, fostering a sense of self-efficacy and boosting their confidence to handle the crisis.

Remember, a word of encouragement during a failure is worth more than an hour of praise after success. 

6) “You matter to me”

In the midst of a crisis, it’s not uncommon for people to feel like they’re a burden to others. They might even feel like their problems are insignificant or unworthy of attention.

That’s when highly empathetic people step in and say, “You matter to me.”

This phrase is heartfelt and powerful. It reassures the person in crisis that their feelings, their struggles, and they themselves are important to you. It conveys that you care about their wellbeing and that you value your relationship with them.

Moreover, it helps to alleviate feelings of guilt or worry about being a burden. It assures them that their problems are not causing strain or inconvenience, but are concerns that you genuinely want to help with because they matter to you.

In times of crisis, reminding your friend of their importance in your life can provide a powerful boost of comfort and support. So let them know – they matter to you, their feelings matter, and you are there for them no matter what.

7) “I don’t know what to say, but I want to help”

Years ago, when a dear friend of mine lost a loved one, I found myself at a loss for words. The pain she was experiencing was so profound that anything I said felt inadequate.

In that moment, I simply said, “I don’t know what to say, but I want to help.”

Highly empathetic people aren’t afraid to admit when they don’t have the answers. They understand that it’s not about having the perfect response, but about being there and showing a willingness to support.

This phrase communicates honesty and sincerity. It acknowledges the reality of the situation—that it’s tough and you may not know the best way to help—but it also conveys your genuine desire to be there for them in any way you can.

In times of crisis, being genuine and transparent can mean more than any well-crafted response.

8) “It’s okay to ask for help”

During a crisis, it’s common for people to feel like they should handle everything on their own. They might hesitate to ask for help out of fear of being a burden or appearing weak.

Highly empathetic people understand this, and they often remind their friends, “It’s okay to ask for help.”

This phrase reassures the person in crisis that seeking help isn’t a sign of weakness, but rather a step towards healing. It encourages them to reach out and share their burden with others who are willing and ready to assist.

Furthermore, it communicates that you are there to help and support them. It gives them permission to lean on you and express their needs openly.

Remember, everyone needs help at some point. 

9) “You are stronger than you think”

In the midst of a crisis, it’s easy for people to underestimate their strength. Highly empathetic people often remind their friends, “You are stronger than you think.”

This phrase encourages resilience and self-belief. It helps the person in crisis to tap into their inner strength and confront their situation with courage.

Moreover, it instills hope – a crucial element during tough times. It reminds them that they have faced challenges before and have overcome them, and they can do so again.

So, when comforting a friend in crisis, remember to remind them of their strength. By doing so, you can help them foster resilience and navigate through their crisis with courage and hope.

Final thoughts: The power of empathy

At the heart of comforting a friend in crisis lies empathy – the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. It is empathy that fuels the phrases we’ve explored, transforming mere words into powerful comfort and reassurance.

Psychological research has consistently shown the profound impact of empathetic communication. Studies suggest that expressing empathy can help reduce stress, foster resilience, and promote healing.

The phrases we’ve discussed do more than provide comfort; they show your friend that you see their pain, you understand it, and you are there for them.

But more importantly, they remind your friend of their strength and resilience.

Pearl Nash

Pearl Nash has years of experience writing relationship articles for single females looking for love. After being single for years with no hope of meeting Mr. Right, she finally managed to get married to the love of her life. Now that she’s settled down and happier than she’s ever been in her life, she's passionate about sharing all the wisdom she's learned over the journey. Pearl is also an accredited astrologer and publishes Hack Spirit's daily horoscope.

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