She was frustrated, and I can’t say I blame her. A friend was going through a rough patch, and people kept sending her platitudes (“You got this!”) or posting those memes that are meant to be inspiring, but come across as insipid (“Keep calm and carry on!”) … and it wasn’t helping.
When someone is hurting, it’s hard to know what to say. We might want to help, but we feel inadequate in the face of their problem … so we lob them a “hang in there” and hope things get better.
I think it’s ok to say, “I don’t know what to say.” To say, “I’m so sorry you’re hurting, and I wish I could help, but I don’t know how.” To realize that people aren’t always asking for a solution, but they’re asking for a listening ear, or someone to dry their tears, even if we can’t “fix” their problems.
An inspirational quote, a Bible verse, an encouraging meme … these can help. But perhaps the most authentic way to help is to just say, “I care.”