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When we want to support someone going through a tough time, our first question is often: “What do they need?” But it’s equally important to ask: “What can I give?”
There are a lot of different ways to express empathy. Some will feel more natural to you than others—and when something feels easy, you're more likely to do it. Ditto for when it’s something you know you do well. To figure out which empathetic gesture comes most naturally to you, take a look at our Empathy Menu.™ Find the approach—or approaches—that work for you.
The Empathy Menu offers ideas for how to offer support when someone you care about is dealing with something hard, even if you don’t know what to say. By reaching out even in a small way, you’re acknowledging what they’re going through—and it can make a real difference in their day.
So if you freeze at the thought of talking about feelings but enjoy gardening, offer to help your friend with their yardwork. If you’re a music lover and are inspired to create a playlist full of your friend’s favorite tunes, go for it—or if you don’t have time, just send them one song that always makes you smile. Are you a great listener? Love driving? Have a knack for organizing? Turn that skill into a gesture of friendship and support.
Your authentic gift, whatever it may be, will be a lovely thing to receive.