“The Art of Comfort” by Daijah McGee

February 26, 2019.

As teenagers, we go through things in life and its not always comfortable to talk to parents about the issues we go through, so we turn to our friends. We turn to the people we trust and it is heartbreaking to hear that the things you told out of pure confidence, to get off your chest because you couldn’t handle it, being spread around your entire you school or even worse, social media, because it is this generation’s, that’s the way to humiliate and ruin someone’s life. Things like that is what causes teenagers to go into a depression and sometimes depression can turn into suicidal thoughts and tendencies or just suicide.  

So how do we prevent this from happening? Well we must master the art of comfort. And how exactly do we do that? We learn what comfort means, once we understand what comfort is, we can apply it our friend’s life and even our lives. Comfort is the easing or alleviation of a person’s feelings of grief or distress. Many people tend to think comforting each other just consists of hugging or pats on the back and find it to be complex, clumsy even. The only reason being is the comfort isn’t effective nor genuine. So, what is genuine, effective comfort?  

  • It’s a feeling. When we are comforted, we feel better and we feel less distress. 
  • It’s intentional. When someone comforts us, we get the vibe they want to be there with us, and we know how clear their intentions are. 
  • It’s built on empathy. Comfort means feeling understood and not being alone. Its about someone close to us accepts our problems and shares our suffering; 
  • It’s symbolized in non-verbal behavior. Closeness, availability, listening, and touching signal “you can count on me.” Non-verbal behavior is crucial and signifies “truth” and commonly includes expressions of interest, acceptance, and concern. 
  • It’s different from advice. Though the person providing comfort understands and shares our pain, comforting is not the same as offering material help, or giving advice. Our friend does not feel our stress so much that they magnify the distress or can no longer focus on being present and caring in the moment. 

We all have that one friend that we consider to be the strongest and most intact when it comes to their emotions. We say little witty jokes to them without realizing that person has feelings’ too. Everyone has their issues, and everyone has their share of demons. We all go through something periodically, so don’t be fooled by your friend’s façade. Check on them and comfort -them if not every day- occasionally. Sometimes, they just need a person to talk to, a person that knows what’s truly going on inside of their minds; a person who’s there to comfort and hold their hand when times get rough. That person needs someone there that’ll be able to tell them, “You’re not alone. I’m here no matter what.” That person needs a shoulder to cry on behind closed doors, and when you become that person, it’s not your job to make them feel low or judge them for whatever it is that they’re going through. It is most certainly not your job to spread around the events that was confidentially told to you, no matter what happens between the two of you.  

Palmetto Ridge should make sure we’re there for our friends, whether it seems like they’re totally fine or they’re happy. The slightest suggestions can let someone know “I’m here for you.” Be their shoulder to cry on and don’t betray their trust because in the end you’ll just realize how wrong you were. Call your friend and tell them you love them. It’ll make their day ten times better.