We will feel called to offer words of encouragement for a friend. When the call comes, I hope this collection finds you and inspires your own authentic presence and heartening communion. The intention here is to craft a space where you can both just be, without being forced to feel any certain way.
“Sometimes someone isn’t ready to see the bright side. Sometimes they need to sit with the shadow first. So be a friend and sit with them. Make the darkness beautiful.” — Victoria Erickson
When we feel called to be a light for someone else, it might not be what we do—but what we don’t do—and it might not be what we say—but what we don’t say—that makes all the difference.
Sometimes we need someone to be there with us—not to fix the problem, not to offer advice, not to do anything in particular—to simply be present with what we’re feeling, to show up and acknowledge what we’re going through and hold a supportive, safe space for us to be with what’s showing up for us.
As alluring as a quick remedy might feel in a moment of pain, it might not be in favor of personal expansion, and it can compound the issue. If we want to experience life fully, deeply, truly, and live an authentic and empowered life, we have to be with all the feelings that come with the journey.We've got to feel all our ugly feelings, and we have to let others feel theirs, too. Click To Tweet
We don’t need to quantify and rationalize every feeling that comes through us. They don’t even need to make sense to us, never mind anyone else. Let us keep this in mind while we’re intending to offer words of encouragement for a friend. If we can be open to anything that comes through, aware and accepting of every feeling, I think the gift we have to offer is something truly astounding.
As acclaimed singer and author Marian Anderson once wrote, “Everyone has a gift for something, even if it is the gift of being a good friend.” In my opinion, the gift of being a good friend is invaluable, essential to the expansion of humanity as a whole, and a kind of practice that has its own gravitational pull.
As you’re reading through these words of encouragement for a friend, keep in mind that you are welcome, of course, to alter any wording to match your heart’s guidance (go with what sounds genuine to you). Depending on the circumstance, needs fluctuate as does the tone and delivery of a message.
Some are quotes, some are straight from my heart, and all are arranged with love—may you find what you’re looking for here.Give the ones you love wings to fly, roots to come back, and reasons to stay. @DalaiLama tweet this
Sample Words of Encouragement for a Friend in Need
One thing I’m sure of is that none of us are defined by the things that don’t go our way. I think we’re defined by what we do with those experiences, by how we let ourselves feel our way through what’s going on.
It really, really is okay to feel not okay. Your feelings are honest representations of what wants to be healed and heard. It takes courage to see them, hear them, sit with them—to show up for what’s showing up for you. I have a feeling that if you can be with the not okay feelings, you can trace them to other parts of yourself that don’t want to be covered up. That might be the only way to heal for real, and the process is worth it.
Some things just won’t be the same as they were before, nor are they required to be, unfortunately right now, but maybe fortunately at some point—I don’t have all the answers. Some things just seem to need their metamorphosis to be free from our control.“Being OK with not being OK paves a path for true growth.” — Kristen Noel tell a friend
I might not have the perfect words for you, but I have so much love for you, and I assure you that in my presence you have the comfort to be yourself.
I am no therapist, but I promise you this: I will listen. I will hear you. I will see you. I will hold the space. I will care.
I know you don’t need me to fix this problem. I just want you know that I believe in you and what you can discover through this. I am available. You can unwind and unravel when you’re around me. You can use me as a sounding board or a vision board.
You are not alone, because you have my hand to hold while you’re going through this. You have my heart to feel your fears and fortify your faith. You have my eyes to see your anxieties and dream of possibilities. You have me as your friend in this journey.There are times when a thousand empty words can't match the power of our silent presence. tweet this
“Just because you are soft doesn’t mean you are not a force. Honey and wildfire are both the color gold.” — Victoria Erickson, Edge of Wonder
If your friend brings up difficult topics or situations to attend to, like making it through the day, try asking some questions to help them open up so that they don’t feel so isolated in their suffering, so that they feel prompted to express their deeper feelings. Adjust accordingly, be gentle, and trust your intuition here:
- What’s the scariest part about facing the day/situation?
- What fear/hope do you struggle with the most?
- Where do you feel most vulnerable/broken/uncomfortable?
- If the painful part had a voice of its own, what would it say? Can you speak from that place?
- What is one thing you can do right now, right here in this one moment, to feel better or care for yourself?
- What could you use more help with? If there was an endless supply of help available to you, what kind of support would you accept?
“Lives fall apart when they need to be rebuilt.” — Iyanla Vanzant
I don’t presume to understand exactly how you feel, but would you mind if I shared a story about my own struggle with _______ (loss, heartbreak, failure, disappointment, rejection, regret)?
If something feels off, it is, and it signifies another chance to live truer to what’s right for you, right now.
I think that if you don’t have comfort right now, the closest available tools for healing and truth are courage, compassion, and companionship. I will help you with these things. At the very least, I can be a source of loving comfort while you rediscover a sense of ease. Then, I’ll be those things long after you need them.
If you’re still looking for the perfect thing to say or do for someone who is bearing a loss right now, I wrote a post about coping/supporting the grieving during the holidays, which would still apply to any season.
In the timely words of poet and artist Cleo Wade, “Don’t be the reason someone feels insecure. Be the reason someone feels seen, heard, and supported by the whole universe.”
Please share your own words of encouragement for a friend who might be reading this, acts of compassion or presence that truly made a difference in your own life, and any helpful or hopeful stories with me in the comments.
Answer the call to be a light; pass along these messages to a friend.
When you offer words of encouragement for a friend, be there in every word. Be present with them and with yourself. Be in the moment and hold the moment in you.