Its easy to share happiness, but very tough to share sadness !!! specially when its personal and you are most vulnerable in terms of the state of mind ! For a lot of people one can be the happy go lucky person, however the close few would know the not so happy not so lucky moments as well !!!
Now what is important here is that..
1. You should not try to resolve something that someone is sharing with you !!! More often than not, they just want to get it out of their system (I think I know why a lot of people write anonymous hidden blogs, because the blog would just listen and not really try to resolve; is that a reason why I still love my car like crazy even after 4 years? I guess yes ! because she listens to me !)
2 If you are with the person, make sure that the other person is sitting comfortably, and not on a uncomfortable barista chair, or a awkward bench.... try to go for a walk while you hear that person out...
3 Stay quiet but keep looking at him/her... a gentle pat on the back, or holding the hand will only help the entire situation
4 DO NOT try to be FUNNY... most people cannot appreciate humor when they are sad !!! but will cry very quickly just after they have laughed their ass out !
5 Over a medium like phone... keep acknowledging that you are hearing and please do hear and not just do the hmms every now and then...
6 Over a medium like chat, read what they are writing and do not really try to resolve unless asked for help and the usual pointers when someone needs help are when they ask a question... at this time too, they are probably looking for an assurance and comfort... so give it to them..
7 Play the devils advocate once they are done speaking
8 Get funny when they are tired of speaking
9 If you were walking, see if you could walk them to their favorite ice cream parlor, or drive them to a nice coffee house, or just to a park !
10 If on the phone or chatting, try and send them an email or a e-card which they can see once the conversation is over !!
I am sure we all know how to take care of people who are close to us, however being humans we gotta remind ourselves of what is right and what is not, at times !!!
And most of the time, people know how to resolve their own issues, we just help them by being around while they are making their lives better !!!