For most people life has its share of disappointments. Fatigue from a demanding schedule, financial difficulties, a failed endeavor at work or school, health problems, difficulty getting along with a family member or friend-these are times when a person can feel frustrated and discouraged.
Our words can be a valuable tool to cheer up and encourage a person who is down. Proverbs 25:11 tells us, "Like apples of gold in settings of silver, is a word spoken in right circumstances" (New American Standard Bible). By offering some words of encouragement, we can help discouraged people face their present and future with courage and a positive outlook.
Yet often that's easier said than done. Sometimes we want to help, but we've never been in a situation similar to what the discouraged person is facing and are at a total loss for words. Maybe we don't know the person's circumstances well enough to comment on specifics, but we still want to show our concern. When you want to give someone a word of encouragement and don't know what to say, here are 10 phrases that help bring new perspective to a discouraged person's life.
"Let me know if you ever need to talk."
One way to help is by letting the other person know you're available to listen if he or she ever wants to talk about the problem.
"You've made progress."
People who are discouraged rarely see their own achievements—in their personal lives, in their careers or educational goals, or in their lives as Christians.
"You're not alone."
You can remind a person who is discouraged that he or she is not alone—you are choosing to face his problems with him and certainly others are also rallying behind him.
"I really admire you for ..."
A person who is depressed often has lost sight of his good qualities. You can encourage that person by pointing out his genuine strengths.
"The present is not the future."
Those who are discouraged tend to see their present problems as overwhelming and can't envision their future as being any better.
"You're not a failure."
Another way to get a handle on discouragement is to remind others that they're not a failure just because they're at a low point and experiencing negative feelings.
"I want to help in any way I can."
Offer to help your friend and provide assistance in any way you can. Doing so will take some burdens off your friend so that he or she can focus on solving the problem at hand.
"There are solutions."
Discouraged people often feel they are in a hopeless situation and cannot see what resources are available to solve their problems.
"You did really well."
A discouraged person is often preoccupied with a specific failure or mistake. One way to help is by finding something about the person that you can sincerely applaud.
"You are a special person."
No other person has your friend's unique opportunities in life or thinks the same way your friend does.