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How to Comfort Someone Over the Phone

by Corey M. Mackenzie

Comforting someone over the phone may not be as easy as comforting someone in person. This is because you won't be able to display your support and caring with body language or a hug. However, listening, using a soothing caring tone of voice and carefully chosen words can help convey your support. You can offer comfort to someone whether the person is angry, sad or grieving. The situations will vary, but as long as you listen and speak with compassion it can help.

Listen carefully to what the person has to say and do not interrupt. If the person pauses, let her know you are still listening. This gives the person the reassurance that you are still listening and encourages her either to speak more or to solicit advice, if she wants it.

Remain calm and let this be portrayed in your tone. You can display emotion in your voice while still remaining calm. If you sound panicky, this will only make the person feel panic as well.

Tell the person you are there for her -- or him -- and that you care, even if you may not be able to solve the problem or take away the pain.

Allow the person to cry. Crying is normal in many cases and may provide some healthy release of emotion. Do not tell her not to cry.

Avoid giving advice unless you know it is desired. In many cases, someone who is upset simply needs a caring, listening ear.

End the call only when you know the person is calm and comforted, if possible. It's best to let the other person talk as long as she needs to and avoid cutting her off. If you have to leave the conversation for any reason, make sure to explain and offer to call back at a certain time.