How to offer condolences for the loss of a loved one

Giving condolences to a friend, family member or coworker can be a daunting task for some people. It is a delicate time for several reasons, and the state of psychological vulnerability of the person to whom we offer our condolences is part of it, as well as the fear of offending or hurting emotionally.

In this article, we’ll look at various tips on how to offer condolences in various situations, along with examples of how to do it in the best possible way.

    Tips for presenting your condolences

    Giving condolences is not just a ritual that is done out of habit. It has, indeed, a very specific utility: to show the person who suffers from the loss of a loved one who is not alone, that the psychological pain that he feels has not disconnected him from the world and that there is someone who cares about his well-being.

    Now, offering condolences isn’t as easy as saying a sentence without caring how it’s done; in cases where there is a strong emotional charge, how much matters more or more than what.

    So let’s take a look at a number of key ideas on how to present your condolences appropriately, simply, and without giving rise to misunderstandings, ambiguities or delicate situations which may seem disrespectful.

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

      Giving condolences is not about making memorable contributions, or giving unsolicited life lessons, or outdoing others in the originality of what has been said. It is, without more, communicate their willingness to support to that person to whom a loved one has passed, and to offer a moment of closeness that he or she can appreciate. The important thing is to make the interlocutor feel as good as possible.

      2. It tends to spontaneity

      If you notice that you are writing a mental script of what you are going to say, make sure it is not very detailed, and do not try to memorize whole sentences perfectly. This will only give you more reason to feel nervous and undermine your honesty in the way you express yourself.

      Just think of a simple post, sort out the top ideas that should be in it, and don’t worry about the content anymore. In these cases it is often said how the news of this person’s death reached us, how it made us feel, and we now continue to show our support to the listener; all in a few seconds, without getting too long.

      For example: “Last night my sister called me and told me your father’s. I’m sorry, he was a great man. If you need anything, tell me.”

      He thinks that what is said to offer his condolences should be relatively brief, because otherwise it may seem like you are claiming an important place at the moment, and on the other hand it makes the other person unable to express as he does. wish.

      3. Don’t make assumptions about how bad you should feel

      It is inappropriate to make estimates on the prejudice that the person to whom we send our condolences must feel, because on the one hand this is obvious, and on the other hand such a phrase reminds him of the pain of loss, making him feel worse at that precise moment.

      4. Go simple

      Bet more on honesty than on convoluted formulas to communicate. Partly because it is not necessary to demand a lot of attention from the other person to understand what we are saying: to offer condolences it must be something fluid, in which the listener does not have to invest efforts.

      5. Pick the right time

      The context in which condolences are given is also part of the message. Choose carefully when and where to communicate what you want to say, Make sure there is no recoil or interruption for the other person.

      It is best to do this in a location 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 better not to force an excessive approach.

      Likewise, if physical contact is inappropriate due to the personality or cultural roots of your interlocutor or relationship, it is also best to avoid this. You don’t have to hug, not even touch your shoulder or side.

      7. Don’t ask for long explanations or answers

      It is important that in giving condolences the other person don’t feel like you have to talk about how you feel. It must be something completely optional and voluntary.

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