Have you ever found out someone was having a bad day and just didn’t know how to respond? We get so used to people telling us they are fine, even when they are not, that actually knowing how to respond to someone when they admit things are not well can be a bit of a foreign concept.
Talking on the phone or in person is usually the best way to help somebody going through a rough day, but not everyone wants to talk when they are low, sometimes they want to text.
Once you get the conversation going things can progress normally, but that first message can be tricky. Here are nine opening text message suggestions to help you begin the conversation.
1. I’m sorry you’re dealing with this. Want to FaceTime or call?
Offering to speak on the phone can be a great way to support someone from a distance. Though they may want some time to decompress, let them know that you’re there to chat in real-time.
2. That sounds like the worst day ever. I’m sorry all of this is happening.
When someone you love is going through it, your first instinct may be to shower them in positivity. While you may be coming from the right place, the #goodvibesonly mentality can be invalidating. Acknowledging someone’s feelings and validating that their day was hard holds space for them and lets them feel seen and heard.
3. Let me know if there’s anything I can do and how I can best support you!
Although you may want to immediately try to fix everything, asking what you can do to support someone lets them take the next step. Maybe they want to talk on the phone. Maybe they want to go on a socially distant walk. They may just want a night to themselves. Put the ball in their court, and let them know you’re around to support them however they need.
4. Thinking of you, know that I’m here!
When someone’s having a bad day, just letting them know that you’re thinking about them can help them feel less alone. Remind them that you care about them and that you’re here to help.
5. Do you want to talk about it?
While some people like to process their feelings verbally, others may not want to chat. Asking if someone wants to talk more about their bad day allows them to direct the conversation and decide how much they want to share.
6. Do you want my advice or do you want me just to listen? Happy to do either or both!
Sometimes, your friends and loved ones want your sage wisdom in a given situation. Other times, they just want to vent. Rather than bombarding someone with unsolicited advice, try asking them what they’re seeking from you.
7. Can’t wait to hang out in person again. We can get Thai food and watch movies.
Sharing all the fun, exciting things you have planned for the next time to see each other can be a great way to support someone after a bad day. If you’re looking for something to do immediately, offer to Postmates them their favorite dinner, or do a DIY spa day over Zoom.
8. You’re a superstar, you inspire me every day, and I’m so happy to know you.
A bad day can be the best time to give someone a little extra lovin’. Remind them what you like about them and how grateful you are to know them.
9. You don’t have to have all the answers right now. We’ll figure it out later!
Expressing that there is no rush to solve everything reminds them that it’s OK just to breathe and feel their feelings. Letting them know you’ll get through it together gives them extra support.