What Friends Really Need From You When They’re In Pain

When a friend or loved one is in pain, it’s likely that your immediate reaction is to offer comfort. You may want to help through your actions or your words, but this nurturing instinct is often trailed by one nagging fear: What if I do or say the wrong thing?

No matter what situation is causing your friend to hurt, life coach Iyanla Vanzant believes that there is one universal approach you can take to help ease their pain.

“Your presence is enough,” Iyanla says. “Sometimes you don’t have to have anything to say… You don’t have to bring anything to the table. Your presence is enough.”

Iyanla has seen the power of this principle work firsthand in her experience as a spiritual advisor and the host of “Iyanla: Fix My Life.” Not only does she take the time to listen to those in the midst of crises, but Iyanla also encourages their loved ones to be fully present and open their hearts as well. That, she adds, is when an additional move towards healing can take place.

“In the stillness and the silence of your presence, pray,” Iyanla suggests.

This prayer doesn’t have to a prayer in the religious sense of the word; rather, it’s about putting forth good vibes and positive energy, beginning with how you personally view your friend in this moment of despair.

“Don’t see the person as ‘broken,’ and don’t see them as where they are right now,” Iyanla says. “Call in and see for them the end result.”

If you’re concerned that allowing yourself to be fully present might invite negativity into your own space, don’t be, Iyanla says. The exact opposite happens.

“Just because your friend is hurting doesn’t mean you have to get down in the pain with them. In fact, in your presence, you can pull the energy up and pull them out of the pain,” Iyanla explains. “Just remember: Your presence is enough.”

The new season of “Iyanla: Fix My Life” premieres on Saturday, Sept. 19, at 9 p.m. ET on OWN, with an emotional, three-part episode focusing on the coming out stories of two gay pastors.

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