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

Imagine you get a text that transforms a gloomy day into a brighter one. Feels good, doesn’t it? Now think about doing the same for a buddy who’s feeling blue. Yes, you can be that person who sends a little love and care through a screen!

In the age of instant messaging, learning to offer comfort through text can be a life changer. On that note, I’ve put together a handy guide that will equip you with the power to turn text messages into digital hugs.

How Texting Differs From In-Person Communication

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.

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.

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.”

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.”

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.

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.”

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!”

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

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.”

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:

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

Brian Tracy

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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

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.”

Encourage Them to Seek Professional Help

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.”

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

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.

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.

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.

Personalize your recommendations based on their interests and tastes.

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”.

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.

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.”

You can use a warm, comforting phrase like “Sending you a big virtual hug” in your messages.

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.

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.”

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)

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.

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?”

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 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.

Example: 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!

Depending on the situation, sending texts every few days or once a week 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 much like caring for 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.

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.

Final Thoughts

By now, I bet you understand how our words can be like small handholds when a friend’s stuck in a tough spot. Isn’t it something, that a few letters in a text could help lift someone up? It’s really about letting them know they’re not alone.

Every time we reach out, we’re making a difference. I try to keep my messages warm and hopeful, like a bright spot in their day. Let’s try to be that bright spot as often as we can, okay?

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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.