What To Say When Someone Is Stressed Out

Telling someone to calm down only does one thing. It gets them to shift their attention from their stress to their anger.

As you know, April is Stress Awareness Month.

We’ve all experienced moments of stress. As I’m sure you can relate, when you hear someone tell you to “calm down” when you’re upset, it feels anything BUT calming.

“Calm down” are two of the worst words you can say when someone is stressed out, upset or anxious. It’s often perceived as invalidating, annoying, or plain ole condescending.

MUCH BETTER responses include:

  • “I get it, this is upsetting.” [frustrating/annoying/difficult/hard]
  • “I’m here for you.”
  • “Your feelings are understandable. Let’s talk it through.”
  • “I hear you. And I’m right here with you.”

The next time someone’s standing before you and they’re distressed, be compassionate instead of condescending, be supportive instead of sarcastic, be a blessing instead of a bother.

To showing empathy.


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