How To Make Someone Feel Better Over Text (24 Tips and Examples)

Ever found yourself staring blankly at your phone, unsure how to comfort a friend who’s miles away and just texted you with their troubles? Don’t fret; we have the keys to unlocking your digital empathy!

In the age of instant messaging, learning to offer comfort through text can be a life changer. Whether it’s a friend dealing with a breakup, or a family member having a rough day, our handy guide will equip you with the power to turn text messages into digital hugs.

Ready to light up someone’s day with a single message? Let’s get started!

Table of Contents

Your words have power. Use them wisely.

The Art of Digital Empathy

Imagine a world without empathy. It’d be like having a conversation with a robot — devoid of understanding, devoid of warmth. Sounds pretty cold, right?

Now, if empathy is such an integral part of human interaction, should it not extend to our digital communication as well? Yes, indeed!

Understanding Empathy

What is empathy, really? It’s not just a highbrow concept you’ve read about in self-help books or seen thrown around in TED Talks.

At its core, empathy is our ability to understand and share the feelings of others. It’s the capacity to step into someone else’s shoes and feel what they’re feeling.

When we communicate empathetically, we’re telling others, “I see you, I hear you, and I’m with you.” Powerful, isn’t it?

How Texting Differs From In-Person Communication

Now, let’s jump into the digital world. How does empathy translate into our text messages? Well, it’s a bit tricky.

When we communicate in person, we have an array of tools at our disposal. The tone of our voice, our facial expressions, our body language — they all work in harmony to convey empathy.

But in the world of texting, these aids disappear, and we’re left with nothing but raw text. This lack of non-verbal cues can often lead to misunderstandings and can make expressing empathy challenging.

So, here lies our quest: how do we convey empathy effectively through our texts? It might seem daunting, but trust us, it’s a skill well worth the effort.

In a world where digital communication has become the norm rather than the exception, being able to comfort and empathize with someone over text is invaluable. It’s about being human in a space that often feels quite the opposite.

The Challenges of Comforting Over Text

The Missing Non-Verbal Cues

Our first squall on the open sea? The absence of non-verbal cues. Imagine sailing without a compass; that’s like texting without:

These invaluable tools of in-person communication often help us understand the context and emotional subtleties. Without them, our text messages can easily be misinterpreted, making the task of comforting someone all the more challenging.

The Impersonal Nature of Texts

Texts lack the warmth of a comforting touch or a sympathetic look. They’re simply black characters on a white screen. This can make them seem robotic, cold, or distant, even when our intentions are genuinely comforting.

Delay in Responses

Next up, we have the rough winds of delayed responses. Unlike in-person communication, where responses are immediate, texts can sometimes float like messages in a bottle, waiting for hours, or even days, to be read and responded to.

This can lead to anxiety and misconceptions, adding another layer of complexity to our comfort-texting mission.

The Lasting Impact of Texts

Lastly, there’s the paradox of permanence. Like a carved notch on a ship’s mast, once sent, a text message stays there, recorded and revisitable. It’s a double-edged sword.

While it can be a constant reminder of support, it also means any poorly worded or ill-timed message can linger, potentially causing more harm than good.

Texting, much like sailing, isn’t always smooth sailing. It comes with its waves of challenges. But remember, even the most turbulent sea has navigable waters.

Ways to Make Someone Feel Better Over Text

1. Just Listen and Offer a Sympathetic Ear

In the rush of everyday life, we often forget how powerful the act of simply listening can be. When someone is going through a tough time, it’s common for them to feel like they’re alone.

By choosing to just listen, you offer them a sympathetic ear and show that their feelings matter. You don’t need to give advice or come up with a solution; your presence alone can be a huge comfort.

Example: If your friend is going through a tough breakup, instead of telling them what they should do, simply say, “I’m here for you. Tell me everything you feel comfortable sharing.”

Pro Tip: Maintain open body language and eye contact, and respond appropriately to show that you are engaged in the conversation.

2. Sympathize With Their Struggle

Sympathizing someone’s struggle means showing them you understand their feelings. You acknowledge their pain and empathize with what they are going through.

It’s about walking a mile in their shoes and showing that you understand their struggle.

Example: If your friend is struggling with work stress, say something like, “I can imagine how difficult it must be to juggle all those tasks. It sounds really stressful.”

3. Reassure Them About Their Feelings

Feelings are part of the human experience, and it’s okay to have ups and downs.

Validating someone’s emotions means acknowledging their feelings without judgment. Reassure them that it’s okay to feel down sometimes and their feelings are valid.

Pro Tip: Avoid phrases like "it could be worse" or "just cheer up." Instead, say things like "It's okay to feel this way" or "Your feelings are valid."

4. Send Words of Encouragement

Showing support can be as simple as sending a thoughtful message. A few words of encouragement can give someone the strength to keep going, even in the face of adversity. This shows them that you are in their corner, rooting for them.

Example: If your friend is nervous about a job interview, you might text them, “I believe in you! You’ve got all the skills they’re looking for. Good luck!”

Pro Tip: Personalize your message of encouragement to show that you really understand their situation.

5. Compliment Them

Everyone appreciates a genuine compliment. When you compliment someone, you’re telling them you appreciate and admire something about them. This can help boost their self-esteem and brighten their day.

Example: You might tell a friend, “You have such a great way with words, I always enjoy our conversations.”

6. Send an Inspirational Quote

Inspirational quotes can provide a fresh perspective and motivate us to keep going when times are tough. Sharing wise words with someone can help them find hope and strength in their situation.

Example: If your friend is feeling overwhelmed, you could share a quote like:

Remember, you have within you right now, everything you need to deal with whatever the world can throw at you.

Brian Tracy

7. Share Positive Affirmations

Positive affirmations are powerful tools that can help shift one’s mindset. By sharing positive affirmations with someone, you’re helping them develop a positive mindset, which is crucial in overcoming challenges.

Regular use of positive affirmations can reduce stress, increase self-esteem, and improve overall mental health.

Example: An affirmation like “You are strong and capable of overcoming anything” could help boost a friend’s spirits when they’re feeling down.

8. Schedule a Time to Chat or Video Call

In the digital age, it’s easier than ever to stay connected. Scheduling a dedicated time to chat or video call shows you’re there for them. This can be especially helpful if physical distance is a barrier.

Example: If your friend lives in a different city, you might schedule a weekly Zoom call to catch up and offer your support.

Pro Tip: Regular communication is key. Try to establish a routine, like a weekly video call, to ensure regular touchpoints.

9. Share Your Own Experiences

Sharing your own experiences and struggles can help someone feel less alone. It can also help them understand that it’s okay to struggle and that things can get better.

Personal storytelling is a powerful tool for connection. It fosters empathy and understanding.

Example: If your friend is dealing with anxiety, sharing your own experiences with anxiety can help them feel understood and less isolated.

10. Use Emojis to Convey Warmth

In digital communication, emojis can add a personal touch and convey emotion. They can make messages feel warmer and more personable, helping to bridge the gap created by digital communication.

Example: You might send a smiley face emoji with a comforting message to convey warmth and positivity.

Did You Know? According to a study by Clutch, 77% of people have sent emojis to communicate emotions in professional settings.

11. Offer Practical Assistance

Sometimes, practical assistance can go a long way. If you’re able to help with a task or problem, your assistance could greatly relieve their stress.

Example: If a friend is stressed about moving, you could offer to help pack or research moving companies.

Pro Tip: Offering help doesn't always mean doing things for them. Sometimes, it means helping them figure out how to do it themselves.

12. Offer to Be a Sounding Board for Their Concerns

Offering to be a sounding board means you’re willing to listen to their worries and help them brainstorm solutions. It provides them with a safe space to express their concerns and find comfort.

Example: If your friend is worried about a work problem, you might say, “I’m here if you want to talk it out and maybe brainstorm some solutions together.”

13. Encourage Them to Seek Professional Help if Appropriate

There are times when professional help, such as counseling or therapy, may be the best solution.

Encouraging someone to seek professional help is a significant way of supporting them if their situation requires expert advice.

Example: If your friend has been feeling persistently low and anxious, you could say, “It might be helpful to speak with a professional counselor. They can provide strategies and tools to help navigate what you’re going through.”

Pro Tip: When suggesting professional help, make sure to approach the topic sensitively. Emphasize that seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness.

14. Invite Them to Join a Support Group

Support groups are a great way for people to connect with others who are going through similar situations. Inviting someone to join a support group can provide them with additional comfort and understanding.

Example: If your friend has recently been diagnosed with a chronic illness, you might recommend a local or online support group for people dealing with the same condition.

15. Share a Funny Meme or GIF

Laughter is a powerful stress reliever. Sharing a funny meme or GIF can provide an instant mood boost and bring a little lightness to someone’s day.

Example: If your friend is having a bad day, you could send a funny cat meme or a GIF from their favorite comedy show.

Did You Know? According to Mayo Clinic, laughter stimulates your heart, lungs and muscles, and releases endorphins, your body's natural mood boosters.

16. Recommend a Movie or Song

A good movie or song can offer a welcome distraction and help someone escape their current troubles for a while. Recommend something you think they’ll enjoy or something that’s helped you in the past.

Example: If your friend loves fantasy, you might suggest they watch “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy or listen to the soundtrack.

Pro Tip: Personalize your recommendations based on their interests and tastes.

17. Play an Online Game Together

Engaging in entertaining distractions like playing an online game together can provide a fun break from stress. It also fosters connection and camaraderie.

Example: You could invite your friend to play a fun and casual online game like Among Us or Minecraft.

18. Create and Exchange Drawings or Sketches

Engaging in creative activities like drawing can be therapeutic and relaxing. Exchanging sketches not only fosters creativity but also provides a unique bonding opportunity.

Example: You could suggest a friendly sketching competition or propose that you both draw your favorite fictional character and exchange the drawings.

Did You Know? Art therapy has been shown to reduce stress and promote relaxation.

19. Offer a Virtual Hug

Physical distance doesn’t mean you can’t offer comfort. A virtual hug is a simple and meaningful gesture that can bring comfort when you can’t be there in person.

Example: If your friend is feeling low, you could text them, “I wish I could be there with you right now. Sending you a big virtual hug.”

Pro Tip: Use a warm, comforting phrase like "Sending you a big virtual hug" in your messages.

20. Send a Surprise E-Gift

A thoughtful surprise can make someone feel special and cared for. Consider sending an e-gift, such as:

  • A digital gift card for their favorite online store
  • An eBook
  • A subscription for a service they love

Example: If your friend loves reading, you could surprise them with a new eBook or an Audible subscription.

21. Share a Happy Memory

Reminiscing about happy times can help shift someone’s focus from their current worries. Sharing a happy memory with them can serve as a reminder of better times and can boost their mood.

Example: You could text your friend, “Remember when we went on that road trip to the coast? That sunset we watched was incredible.”

22. Share a Self-Care Challenge

Engaging in activities that promote mental well-being and resilience together can be a great way to offer support. Suggest a self-care challenge you can both participate in, such as a daily meditation or gratitude journaling.

Example: Propose a 30-day mindfulness challenge, where you both commit to meditating for 10 minutes each day.

Related: 18 Best Mindfulness Books (For Learning Mindfulness in 2023)

23. Offer Help With Small Tasks

When someone is dealing with a lot, even small tasks can feel overwhelming. Offering to help with small tasks can significantly lighten their load.

Example: If your friend is dealing with a family emergency, you might offer to take care of their pet or run errands for them.

Pro Tip: Make sure your offer is specific. Instead of asking, "Can I help with anything?" you could say, "Can I help with grocery shopping this week?"

24. Encourage New Experiences and Hobbies

Exploring new interests and hobbies can bring joy and help someone discover new passions. Encouraging them to try something new can provide a welcome distraction and a sense of accomplishment.

Research by San Francisco State University found that people who engage in a variety of experiences are more likely to retain positive emotions and minimize negative ones.

Example: If your friend has always wanted to try painting, you could gift them a beginner’s painting kit or sign up for a virtual painting class together.

The Red Flags in Comfort Messaging

Have you ever unintentionally stepped on someone’s toe while dancing? Oops, quite uncomfortable, right? Sometimes, our comfort texts can do just that — unintentionally cause discomfort.

Knowing the do’s of empathetic texting is crucial, but so is understanding the don’ts.

Avoid Minimizing Feelings

A common misstep in comforting texts is minimizing feelings. Phrases like “It’s not that bad” or “You’re overreacting” can come off as dismissive and hurtful.

Even if you’re trying to bring perspective or lighten the mood, it’s essential to tread carefully. Validating their feelings should always be the first step.

Example: Instead of saying, "It's not that bad, everyone goes through this," you could say, "I understand this is really tough for you, and it's okay to feel this way."

Don’t Offer Unsolicited Advice

Ever received advice when all you needed was a listening ear? It can feel quite frustrating. When someone shares their problems, they might just need a safe space to vent, not a solution.

Unless they’re explicitly asking for advice, it’s better to keep your counsel to yourself.

Example: Instead of saying, "You should just confront them about it," try "That sounds difficult. I'm here for you, no matter what you decide to do."

Keep the Focus on Them

Remember, your texts are not about you but the person you’re comforting. While it’s okay to share personal experiences for empathy’s sake, be careful not to shift the focus onto yourself.

Your aim is to offer comfort, not to overshadow their feelings with your story.

Example: Instead of saying, "I've been through worse, let me tell you about it," consider, "I've faced something similar, and I understand how hard it can be. You're not alone in this."

Always Be Sensitive and Respectful

Lastly, but certainly not least, always be sensitive and respectful:

  • Avoid making assumptions.
  • Respect their privacy.
  • Never push for details.

Your texts should be a digital safe haven — free from judgment and full of understanding.

Pro Tip: As a comforting texter, always remember to put their needs, feelings, and comfort above all else.

The After-Text: Follow-up and Continued Support

Timely Check-ins

Knowing when to check in after your initial comforting text can be a balancing act. A follow-up message can show that you genuinely care and that your support isn’t just a one-time thing.

Example: “Hey, just checking in to see how you’re doing. No pressure to respond, just know I’m here for you.”

Balancing Space and Support

Offering ongoing support while respecting the person’s space can be tricky. The key is to offer support without making them feel overwhelmed or obligated to share more than they’re comfortable with.

A simple text like “I hope you’re doing well. Remember, I’m here if you need to talk,” can provide comfort without intruding on their space.

Regular but Not Overbearing

Regular check-ins are great, but avoid becoming overbearing. You want to water the plant of your friendship, not drown it!

Sending texts every few days or once a week, depending on the situation, can show that you’re there for them without being too much.

Speaking of plants, checking in and offering ongoing support to a friend is a lot like taking care of a houseplant. You can’t just water it once and forget about it. It needs regular care, but too much water, and you’ll drown it.

So, consider your follow-up texts as gentle sprinkles of water, keeping the soil of your friendship moist and thriving but not waterlogged!

Recognizing When It’s Time for Professional Help

Spot the Signs

Just as a captain knows when it’s time to call in the coast guard, you should be able to recognize when your friend might need professional help.

Look out for signs of severe distress, harmful behaviors, or if they express feelings of hopelessness frequently.

It’s important to remember, though, you’re not a mental health professional, and your role is not to diagnose but to support.

Suggest Help Sensitively

If you think professional help might be beneficial, it’s crucial to approach the subject with utmost sensitivity. Start by expressing your concern and why you think seeking professional help might be helpful.

Make sure to reassure them that seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness.

Example: You could say, “I really care about you and I’m always here for you. However, I feel that a professional could provide you with more appropriate support. There’s no shame in seeking help, it shows strength and courage.”

Being There in the Process

Offer to be there for them throughout the process, whether that’s helping them find a therapist, joining them on the first visit, or just being there to talk before and after sessions.

Pro Tip: Helping someone sometimes means recognizing when you're out of your depth.

Navigating through the rough seas of emotional distress is a tough job. But with your support and the potential help of a professional, your friend doesn’t have to sail these waters alone. Let’s keep those lifeboats ready, captains!

Frequently Asked Questions

What if they don’t respond to my comforting text?

If they don’t respond, give them time. They may be processing their feelings or might not be ready to talk. Let them know you’re there for them, but avoid pressuring them into a response.

What if they get upset or angry at my attempts to comfort?

Sometimes, people in distress might react negatively. If this happens, remind them that you’re coming from a place of care and concern. Respect their feelings and give them space if they need it.

What if they’re talking about self-harm or suicide?

If someone talks about self-harm or suicide, it’s crucial to take it seriously. Encourage them to reach out to a mental health professional immediately.

Call or text a Suicide & Crisis Lifeline or call 911 in life-threatening situations.

Remember, your role is to provide support and empathy, but professional help is critical in serious situations.


So, there you have it, your guide to spreading cheer over text! Remember, the key to making someone feel better is sincere empathy and connection. Whether it’s sharing a happy memory, playing an online game, or just offering a virtual hug, each small act can make a big difference.

You don’t need to have all the answers to offer comfort. Sometimes, just letting someone know you’re there for them can work wonders.

With these tips in hand, are you now ready to spread some digital sunshine?

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Jessa Claire

Jessa Claire is a registered healthcare provider. Music lover. Daydreamer. Thalassophile. Foodie. A hardworking Capricorn. Most days, an incurable empath. An old soul. Down-to-earth. Vibrant.

When she's not writing, she can be seen relaxing with headphones on or engrossed in her favorite fan fiction book.