How To Offer Condolences After The Loss Of A Loved One

How to give condolences

Giving condolences to a friend, family member or co-worker can be quite a challenge. for some people. It is a delicate moment for several reasons, and the state of psychological vulnerability of the person to whom we are giving condolences is one of them, as well as the fear of offending or hurting them emotionally.

In this article we will see several tips on how to give condolences in various situations, as well as examples to do it in the best possible way.

Tips on How to Properly Give Condolences

Giving condolences is not just a ritual that is done out of custom. It has, in fact, a very specific use: to show the person who is suffering from the loss of a loved one that they are not alone, that the psychological pain they feel has not disconnected them from the world and that there is someone out there who cares about your well-being.

Now, giving condolences is not something as simple as saying a phrase without worrying about the way in which it is done; In cases where there is a strong emotional charge, the how matters as much or more than the what.

So, let’s look at a series of fundamental ideas to know how to give condolences in an appropriate, simple and without giving rise to misunderstandings, ambiguities or uncomfortable situations that may seem disrespectful.

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1. Don’t plan phrases that make you stand out

Giving condolences is not about making memorable contributions, nor about giving unsolicited life lessons or surpassing others in the originality of what was said. It is, without further ado, communicate willingness to provide support to that person whose loved one has died, and offer a moment of closeness that they can appreciate. The important thing is to make the interlocutor feel in the best possible way.

2. Tends to spontaneity

If you realize that you are creating a mental script of what you are going to say, try not to make it too detailed, and Don’t try to memorize entire sentences perfectly.. This will only give you more reasons to feel nervous, and it will take away from the honesty of your way of expressing yourself.

Simply think of a simple message, organize the main ideas that should appear in it, and don’t worry about the content anymore. In these cases we usually say how the news of that person’s death reached us, how it made us feel, and we move on to show support to the listener; all this in a matter of seconds, without getting too long.

For example: “last night my sister called me and told me about your father. I’m so sorry, he was a very good man. If you need anything, tell me.”

Keep in mind that what you say to express your condolences should be relatively brief, since otherwise it may seem like you are claiming the spotlight of the moment, and on the other hand, this means that the other person cannot express themselves as they would like.

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3. Don’t make hypotheses about how bad it must feel

It is out of place to make estimates about how bad the person to whom we are giving our condolences must be feeling, since on the one hand this is evident, and on the other A phrase like that reminds you of the pain of loss, making you feel worse at that very moment..

4. Go simple

Bet more on honesty than on convoluted formulas to communicate. Among other things, because there is no reason to demand a lot of attention from the other person in order to understand what we are saying: give condolences It should be something fluid, in which the listener does not have to invest effort.

5. Choose the moment well

The context in which the condolences are given is also part of the message. Choose well when and where to communicate what you want to sayensuring that it does not result in a setback or interruption for the other person.

It is best to do it in a place that offers at least some privacy (for example, not in a large group of people paying attention to the conversation).

6. Adapt the degree of proximity

If you feel uncomfortable getting too close to people or touching someone you don’t trust very much, You better not force an excessive approach.

Likewise, if physical contact is inappropriate due to the personality or cultural roots of your interlocutor or your relationship, it is also better to avoid this. It is not mandatory to give a hug, or even touch the shoulder or side.

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7. Don’t ask for explanations or long answers

It is important that when giving condolences the other person Don’t feel pressured to talk about how you feel.. It should be something completely optional and voluntary.