In times of grief, illness or trauma people often need a helping hand. Sometimes they just need someone to remind them that there’s light at the end of the tunnel.
In these situations, they’re usually appreciative of the people who journey with them through tough times. This article will explain how you can respond to someone who says thanks for caring.
When someone says thanks for caring, you can simply respond with “my pleasure”. This statement shows that it was your pleasure to be there for them when they needed you.
If you’re not comfortable saying my pleasure because it doesn’t match your personality or for some other reason, you could also say:
All of these statements are expressing the same feeling. They let the other person know that what you did is what any other caring human being would do.
Additionally, your answer lets the person know that you appreciate the fact that they recognize that you went out of your way to be there for them.
Ask If There’s Anything Specific That They Need
When someone is going through trying times, they may need additional help for a while. You can offer help in a general sense. You can also ask them directly if there’s anything specific that they would like help with.
You could say:
“Do you need help with anything while you’re in the hospital?”
“Is there any way I can make it easier for you to manage at home while you’re taking on these extra courses?”
“Is there any way that I can help you while you’re going through this medical treatment?”
Let it be up to the person to say no. If they would like your help, they’ll carefully consider it and let you know.
It’s important to remember that many people don’t want to be a burden on others.
They are aware that every person has their own troubles and responsibilities. While they appreciate your care, they don’t want to overdo it.
Let Them Know You’ll Still Be Checking in with Them
People sometimes say call me if you need anything whenever they want to offer help. However, this doesn’t always produce the results that they expect.
When someone is in need, they often hesitate before calling when a person gives such a general offer.
If you want to show continued care, you can let the person know that you will try to give them a quick call once a week or visit every other week. You’ll be present.
Ask them if that’s okay with them. If they look uncomfortable or say no, adjust to meet their needs.
You want to find the right balance between being there for them and not intruding on their boundaries. Everyone appreciates a little help. However, they still want to feel independent and free to handle situations in their own way.
By showing that you want to make plans to be there for them you affirm that your offer of care is genuine.
Ask How They’re Doing
Someone can express gratitude but still be in a lot of turmoil. Even while someone is saying thanks for caring, you can find out whether all is well.
Even if they don’t fully share everything that’s happening with them at that moment, it will still help them to know that you are interested enough in their overall well-being to ask.
You can do this in several ways. For example, you can ask immediately in response to thanks for caring, by asking:
“How are you feeling now?”
“Is everything okay now?”
Give the Person Room to Understand Their Feelings
Sometimes a person might not be sure of everything that they’re experiencing.
For example, if a person has had to adjust to a major life change, it can be difficult for them to process everything that they’re feeling.
At that time, they might not be able to give an accurate answer as to whether everything is okay. They might not know whether everything is alright then or will ever be alright.
Give Assurance of Things That You Know They Can Count On
It is important to remind people of everything that’s going well for them in the midst of turmoil.
After someone says thanks for caring, you could remind them that they have a whole team of people who are willing to step up and offer assistance in different ways.
This is especially important if they weren’t even aware of everything that was being done to ensure that things in their life didn’t spiral out of control. This type of reminder that several people have their back can be reassuring.
For example, if someone has been in the hospital for a while and they haven’t been able to check on their children or take care of their other responsibilities, you could say:
“Everyone was concerned when they heard that you were ill. “
“Everyone has been pitching in in different ways.”
“All of us have been taking care of things so that you can feel more at ease.”
“We all want you to feel relaxed so we’re lending a hand, just as you always do for us.”
Make Arrangements for Whatever They Need to Do Next
If a person has mentioned something that they will have to accomplish and you know that they might need help, you could gently ask if you can pitch in in any way. Don’t assume that they will definitely need your help.
Always ask in a spirit of humility, trusting them to know how much assistance they’re willing to accept from others. This is especially important when the person you care about is someone who has been used to accomplishing things on their own all their life.
For example, if an elderly friend needs assistance in some way it can be tempting to think of them as a frail senior citizen.
However, that person has been accomplishing their goals their whole life and they can handle many things on their own. Offer help in response when they say thanks for caring but don’t attempt to tell them what to do.
Sophie Hammond is a journalist, psychologist, and freelance speechwriter for people in politics and business. She lives on the edge of the Rocky Mountains with her dog and a lifetime supply of books. When she’s not writing, she can be found wandering through nature or journaling at a coffee shop.