When a friend suffers a tragedy or loss, it may be hard to figure out how to convey feelings of sympathy. Offering words of sympathy to a friend is something that takes time and thought. You want to show that you care, but you do not want your words to seem forced or out of duty. If you take the time to consider how you convey sympathy and consider the personality of your friend, then you can not only show your friend respect but also show them that you truly care.
If you can offer this in person, then you should do so. A letter or email dilutes the sheer power of what you are trying to say. Thus, if you can take your friend to coffee or out for a meal and offer encouragement, your words will seem that much more personal and will be more effective.
The key is to be as specific as possible when it comes to offering words of sympathy to a friend. If you offer vague or impersonal words, then they may seem fake. Thus, you should try and make your words of sympathy as specific as possible. Mention your memories of your friend and of their loss, whether it's a husband or a beloved pet or family member.
When it comes to offering words of sympathy to a friend, try and also do something for your friend. Help them run errands or offer to come over a few times a week. This shows your friend that you truly want to help the people in your life.
You may think that talking about your own experiences or advice will help your friend, but it can be seen as disrespectful. Instead, you should try your best to listen as much as possible. When a friend is upset or grieving, they need the time to talk about their own experiences and feelings. Thus, offer words of sympathy but try not to dominate the conversation.
If you are starting to feel as if a friend has turned on you, consider whether jealousy is rearing its ugly head.