When your girlfriend is upset, you probably take her shoe shopping or go out for coffee, chocolate and a chick flick. But shoe shopping might not comfort your guy friend. Instead, meet him at his level, and offer him comfort of a different kind. Of course, all men are different, so what works for one of your guy friends might not work for another. Still, there are things you can do to lend comfort that will probably fit almost any situation.
Be available to him. Don't send him a vague text telling him to call you if he needs you. This puts the responsibility on him, and he may have too much to do already, especially if he's coping with the loss of a job or loved one. Instead, go to him in person and ask him how you can help him.
Listen patiently. If he wants to talk, let him talk without interrupting. If he doesn't want to talk, just sit there with him. A gentle question or two might help draw him out, but don't badger -- many men tend to shut down and sulk if they are pushed too hard. If he asks you for space, don't take it personally. At least he knows you are there for him if he needs you, and chances are he will reach out to you later when he's sorted things through in his head.
Offer to do something for him. Depending on the relationship you have with your guy friend, you might end up cooking him some meals, or even comforting him in a more physical manner if you have a romantic relationship -- physical touch can be relaxing to many men.
Distract him with a social activity or even a quick run around the block. Don't make light of his troubles, but ask him if he wants to accompany you to a workout, a game or other social event. Many men find comfort in keeping active, so helping him take his mind off his problems may go a long way toward comforting him.
Follow up and follow through. Friends and family sometimes stop calling a few weeks after a crisis. Continuing to follow up on how your guy friend is doing may bring him great comfort. And if you promise to call -- say, every Friday night -- always follow through on your promise.
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