Say: "I'm Here If You Want to Talk"
Asking an open-ended question like "how are you doing?" or "is there anything I can do for you?" might feel like the right way to start this conversation, but that actually puts the emotional burden on the person you're talking to. You're asking them to potentially expose painful emotions and make themselves vulnerable, and that might be the last thing they feel like doing. "Every person has their own process of dealing with situations," Lee said, "so our words should be supportive and should provide the space to talk if that is what is wanted. No one should be forced to talk, but we should be ready to listen."
Lee recommended saying, "Hey, there's a lot going on right now and I was thinking about you. If you'd like to talk, I'd love to listen. If not, that's cool too. Just know that I'm here for you and I got your back." This gives them the option of talking if they want to, without forcing them to open up if they don't.