Support Your Hurting Friend by Asking the Right Questions
There are lots of good questions to ask someone who is hurting, but I think one of the best questions is this: "How are you doing today?" Note the emphasis on today. You could also ask, "How are you doing right now?" Or, "How are you doing this week?" It’s difficult to know how to answer when someone simply asks, "How are you doing?"
Ask . . . and Then Listen
In my case, I’m still disabled. I’m still in the same pain I had yesterday. I still can’t put on my seatbelt or pick up my children. But when you tack on that one simple word "today," it allows me and others who hurt to assess their lives at that very moment. You can press in further and ask questions that may help the hurting open up, "How’s your heart today?" or "How’s your depression and discouragement this week?" or "Can you help me better understand how you’re feeling today?" And when they start answering, it’s best to remain quiet and pay attention to what they’re saying. Good listening and a faithful presence will go a long way toward loving your hurting friend.