It can be so hard to know how best to respond when a friend or loved one comes to you in distress. We are empathic, social creatures, and another person's pain can cause the person listening to also feel distressed. This can be so uncomfortable that we become anxious to 'fix' the situation, and we start to offer our advice, or to argue that things aren't so bad. Unfortunately, this is usually not what the person suffering needs. It is more helpful to really focus on listening to what they want to say, and on showing that you have heard them. It can also be helpful to ask the person what they need from you. It might be helpful for the person to see a Counsellor, who is skilled in listening and in helping people to work through the issues they are struggling with. Counselling can help with a range of issues including anxiety, low mood, anger, depression and life changes.