What to say to a depressed person
Are you wondering what to say to a depressed person to cheer them up? Don’t try to copy Jay Shetty; instead, follow this guide.
Words mean everything to a person with depression. They can quickly misunderstand wrongly directed words, and pick offence even when you meant the best. This is why you need to learn what to say to a depressed person consciously.
These short phrases can be used when addressing both men and women, but you shouldn’t be rigid.
Use the idea and blend them with your natural tone to cheer your friend. You don’t want to give them the impression that you are fake.
So, ready? Let’s dive right in!
What to say to a depressed person to make them feel better
- You are not alone
A person with depression tends to believe that what they are feeling is entirely strange and that no one in the world has ever felt or feels the way they do.
Most times, they feel like nobody understands them, and this pushes them in the more.
To help, remind them that they are not alone. There are others out there who are struggling for help and going through a different crisis in life, and your speech should help them realize that.
It is essential to add that you may not understand exactly how they feel (because you don’t).
- How can I help you feel better?
The saying “you never know if you never ask” is not wrong, especially in this aspect.
You could be busy pouring out all the motivational lines you heard from Lisa Nichols when all your friend wants is for you to shut up and listen.
Don’t feed them with the best wine when all they need is just water.
You may not know, but depression itself is a great weight. A person has to do a whole lot to overcome it, both physically and mentally.
However, knowing the right thing to do and when to do it for your friend is not always easy. That is why you need to ask them what you can do to help them face the unique situation.
They may be afraid to accept that they need the help because they do not want to burden you. But you can be a better friend by asking them if you can help with the grocery shopping or housework, keep them company for a while, or take them to places where they can have fun and forget the pain.
Don’t be vague when asking them what you can do.
Instead of saying, “is there anything you would like me to do for you?” Say something like, “would you like me to walk with you to the supermarket?”
When you ask a more generalized question, they will find it difficult to accept your help because even they cannot place what they need at the time.
- You are not a burden to me
Have you ever tried asking a friend to lend you money the third time in a month but dropped the phone out of discouragement?
If you’ve ever experienced that, you will know what your friend means when saying “I’m fine”.
When a person is depressed, they depend on people around them for numerous things as little as preparing their meals, cleaning their homes, and other aspects.
Don’t be quick to judge; you do not know the low energy level that depression carries.
I’m not praising the silly emotions here, just trying to make you understand the feeling.
However, these people find it difficult to ask for help because, as you know, it is burdensome to keep asking someone for the same thing, especially if they have been offering to help out for a while.
However, since you are willing to help, remind her that you are okay with it, and they are not a burden.
You can say, “I’m doing this because I love you and want to help you get through this, and you are not a burden to me.
- Everything will be okay
Whether your friend has been diagnosed with a depressive disorder or get just going through one of those stages in their lives, tell them that everything will be okay because they will.
When people are depressed, they become anxious and quickly imagine the worst case scenario. It doesn’t matter if they’re just upset or frustrated.
Keep this in mind and be nice when they start whining again (I know it can be very frustrating).
However, it is essential to quickly calm things down for them by helping them to take those leaps of faith and rejoice over the little results.
- Only do what you are comfortable with
I hate to be pressured into doing what I don’t want; you know that feeling too.
Asking your friend to smile and greet all the “fake” people who don’t care about her is like your mum won’t stop introducing you to all her friends and village people (even those you never knew existed).
It’s so tiring!
People with depression are pressured every day by the world’s system to dress up, go to a party and pretend it is okay.
As much as these activities are not wrong, they may be more hurtful when done out of “pressure”.
Everyone may criticize your friend for being anti-social and constantly pessimistic; you should not be one of them.
I understand that it is hard, but you should try as much as possible not to be one of them.
You want to be dependable here, and putting yourself in their shoes can help your friend and the friendship.
I’m not saying that you should just allow them to isolate and shut out the entire universe. Encourage them subtly to take tiger steps but never push.
- Do you need some space?
It can be pretty confusing to know what a depressed person wants. That is why you must ask what to say to a depressed person and when to leave them alone.
As much as you want to be sure that they are not isolating themselves, it is important to know if they truly want to be alone.
Here’s the thing, being alone helps people recharge their batteries.
If this is what your friend needs at the moment, then it is advisable to give that space.
However, if they’re just shutting the world out because they feel like no one understands, then you should let them see that you understand and want to help.
- Say I love you
As much as this phrase has become so cliché, they still mean a lot when said at the right time and with the right mindset.
With so many troubles walloping your friend, it is very common for them to feel like no one loves them, not even their parents.
Saying “I love you” and being honest about it can be more comforting than you can ever imagine.
Indeed, you may not have all the answers to their questions, nor do you have solutions to the horrifying problems around them, but they can stay comfortable in your love and hide their hearts in there.
‘I love you’ makes them know that they have your support.
Never use this phrase if you don’t mean it. Saying that you love them and then blanking them off the next minute will cause them even more pain than they already feel.
- If you need anything, I’m just a call away
Most people with mental health issues or generalized life challenges may not want to bother others with their problems. But if they know that you are willing to help and support them, they will open up.
It is a remedy, and even when you do not know what to say to a depressed person, telling them that you are right there is enough.
It opens up the lines and makes them feel more comfortable talking about their pain.
- I know you are strong enough to handle this
Pain only goes to those who are strong enough to handle it. I don’t mean to sound like a random motivational speaker, but it is true.
When a person is depressed, they will quickly feel weak, or there is something not right with them. And most often, they feel overwhelmed and unable to face the dreaded.
Knowing what to say to this depressed person entails assuring them that they are stronger within.
Remind them that it is not their fault that they feel the way they do and help them find that internal strength to fight back.
- Remind them that there is hope
While you assure them that they are stronger within to fight whatever they feel on the inside, reassure them that there is hope for a better and positive life.
There are lots of solutions to depression.
They can benefit from therapy, spiritual inclination, and others.
What to do when a depressed person misunderstands you
A lot of people get the backfire when trying to talk to a depressed person. This may not necessarily be because they said the wrong thing. In fact, they said all the right things, but the friend just became upset.
Everyone has their unique thoughts and feelings, and people with depression quickly become upset; this is one of the symptoms of depression.
However, you should know that when people with depression lash out at you, it’s not really because of what you said. It is probably because of what they feel on the inside.
It makes everyone around them a target.
However, you should not take it personally.
I know it is hard, but you need to stay calm and continue showing them the love and supporting the way they feel comfortable.
Try not to push and ensure you talk to someone on their behalf if you think they are becoming suicidal.
Dealing with a depressed person is tough.
You just need to ensure you are doing everything right. However, instead of only learning what to say to a depressed person, find ways to build deeper connections with them. It makes all the difference.