Comforting Is Listening Without Judgment

Comforting Is Listening Without Judgment

Last update: 09 January, 2017

We all need to be comforted at times, but do we know how to comfort? Sometimes there are certain forms of comfort that we turn to that aren’t actually effective. Today we will open our eyes to what the word comfort really means.

“Comforting is listening without judgment, it is to be there; It is listening, accompanying without doing anything.”

-Bernardo Stamateas-

Being there in tough times

young woman on a cross walk in the rain

We all go through difficult times when we feel alone. But, look around you! You have a lot of people who are there for you. Do you also make yourself available for them? Not only should we want people to always be ready to help us, we too have to be available for something that may happen at any time, unpredictably.

Whether they are friends or family, we must be there for them. But being there doesn’t just mean in person. Being there means a lot more:

  • Listening to the other person, even if you also have problems. Your turn will also come when someone will listen and support you.
  • Supporting what another person expresses to you without criticizing, without judging, and without trying to manipulate them.
  • Having an open mind to the problem they may be telling you.
  • If the person is depressed or in a state of deep sadness be there for them whenever they need to talk.
  • Take an interest in their well-being and whether their problems have been solved.

We all like to be heard, but truly heard. So if you’re really there for someone, sincerely listen to them and take an interest in their well-being.

Friendship is being there at all times of the day, with open arms, expecting both good and bad times.

But sometimes we feel uncomfortable when we are comforting someone because that is the only thing we can do. We feel powerless and a little useless. You think, How I can I really help?

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Being next to someone is also helping them

As we have said, we feel useless, helpless, not knowing how to really help. We believe that being there next to someone, just listening and consoling isn’t doing anything. You are wrong. You’re doing a lot.

When someone has a problem or is going through a bad time, you cannot interfere with it. Each person’s pain must pass by itself. No one can take their place, no one can overcome it except the person who is suffering.

hug man woman

It is something that we must begin to internalize in order to learn to understand the different reactions of people. Many will want to vent by talking, while others prefer to do it quietly. Sometimes, silence is the loudest scream that someone gives for help.

Learn to accompany someone

Whether a person wants to talk or keep quiet, stay by their side. You just need to accompany them to let them know that they have a shoulder to lean on if they fall. That arm that will lift them does not mean that they will be free from the pain, but it will give them the strength to keep fighting and confront it.

Clearly we cannot know what is going on with another person and, although we may find what they are telling us or what is happening to be absurd, we should try to empathize and understand. Stop telling people that are suffering that everything will pass, that it’s just a bad time…Stop criticizing, stop telling them how silly they are while you see everything so clearly.


Do not judge because tomorrow you may go through something similar which may be silly, but it causes you to suffer although you may deny it.

“We can never judge the lives of others because everyone knows their own pain and resignation. One thing is to assume that one is on the right path; another is to assume that this path is the only one.”

-Paulo Coelho-

Comfort does not understand judgment

Learn to be there for others, how to console without judging how they think, what they are going though, or what they are suffering. Just accompany them in their pain so they know that if they falter you will be there to give them a push.

Make them understand that it’s all an experience, for better or worse, and sooner or later that situation will be a thing of the past and will already have been overcome.

woman hugging a cat

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Images courtesy of Jung Eun Park, Shiori Matsumtotto

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.