When Sheryl Sandberg, author of Lean In, lost her husband, she said no one knew how to talk to her. People felt awkward around her and didn’t know what to say. One of the goals of her new book, New York Times Bestseller Option B is to talk about how we can both build resilience when we face life challenges but also how we can support friends in need. Sheryl brings up such a good point. How many times do we find ourselves with a friend who is going through a breakup, a loss, unemployment or another difficult life transition and find ourselves at a loss for what to do or say? Here are some research-validated ways that you can support others in the kindest and most effective way.
• Be 100 percent present. Put away your phone, your computer, your work and be there for them. Listen to them, support them without judging them. Don’t even offer suggestions unless they ask for them. Just be with them. They will heard and understood and may experience some relief. Research shows that positive social relationships with people help us feel better but that many people actually feel quite lonely – by listening in this way, you can help that person feel connected and supported…
• Invite them for a healthy meal. New research shows that simply boosting your intake of fresh fruits and veggies can dramatically increase your happiness and well-being. Take your friend to a vegetarian restaurant and load up on those fruits and vegetables to beat the blues.
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