When trying to console someone, I’ve often found myself, at a loss for what to do, saying “Let me know how I can help.” Today, in just such a same situation, a friend modeled a different kind of behavior. She said, “Why don’t I….” and offered up a few very specific ideas of things she’d like to do to help.
This feels like the difference between not-so-helpful generic feedback (“Great job!”) and very useful, specific positive feedback (“What I particularly liked was when you…”).
Specifics help in all situations, especially when someone is feeling a sense of loss. Usually, a big part of the gift you give is taking away someone else’s burden of making a decision.