Ask questions! Empathetic questions are one way to connect. Ask questions to understand how the other person feels about the situation, and then let them know you understand them by repeating back to them what they said. Do not ask questions that could make people feel interrogated but ask them questions so they know you are trying to understand them.
Describe how you see the other person’s state and ask if you are correct in your interpretation. Don’t ever insist you know what someone else is feeling but ask questions to help them tell you how they are feeling. Use the questions to create a bridge between the mind and the heart.
You never want to tell the other person how they feel—you might get it wrong and that will annoy them or, worse, make them feel misunderstood so much that they shut down.
Questions you can ask to show your empathy include:
And sometimes questions only go so far, but the person knows your trying and that is enough for them to feel supported by you.