“How can I help?”
It’s a simple question that can open doors. But it also creates tension.
The person you’re seeking to connect with might not want to believe that help is possible. There’s a solace that comes from being really and truly stuck, and hope might not be on their agenda.
Or there might be resistance to thinking about what help would look like. Because visualizing it brings it one step closer to happening, and that can be scary.
Perhaps the person has danced with hope before, and discovered that people who mean well don’t always follow through. It may be that an offer of help feels temporary and selfish, not generous.
And it could be that the problem the person has built is so perfect and permanent that no help is possible.
Ultimately, the only way to know if help is possible is to try.