Don’t project your insecurities on to the other person. Let them breathe, even if with their problems. Let them sit and think them over to proceed towards a solution. Don’t discard that a certain problem can never happen to others because you are unable to accept the reality you you haven’t been in their shoes ever. Don’t respond “you are joking”, “stop joking”, “this can’t be true”, “it’s nothing”, “you are imagining it” or “don’t create scenes in your head” or anything similar in nature in response. By doing so, you are pushing them towards their ruin by discarding their truth and saying so from a place of privilege. You, hence, become one with the oppressors or the culprits of their suffering. Don’t do more harm than good.
Don’t suffocate them with your escapist attitude. They are already sinking in water that has rose up till their nose and they are struggling to survive but are unable to shout for help. They cannot be held accountable for your inability to face your emotions and accept your problems and how they impact your mental, physical and often, economic space. Stop going in the opposite direction.
Don’t tell them that you struggled more than them, especially if you are in a position of superiority like a parent-child setup. “I had it worse” has never been recorded to help anyone. Don’t start to lecture them with parts of your journey and “if I was in your situation” because again, it may come from a place of privilege. If you can’t help, don’t deteriorate their situation by asking them to behave “normal” when they are struggling. Suppose if someone shot you, will you be walking around the place comfortably or will be struggling to grasp some of the help in your hands?
Make them feel comfortable and if you can, provide them with a safe space to talk about their difficulties without any parameters or judgement in your space. If you have set some provisions like if the problem is not about studies, you won’t discuss it, don’t offer help and give them hope in the first place. Leave your patriarchal and biased attitude behind before you enter into their space or just move farther away from them and let them help themselves. If you can’t accept that you are wrong and can’t leave any of the ‘don’t’s that I have mentioned, which are the big red x’s, just shut up and leave.