When someone is going through a rough time it is common for people to say, “I’m praying for you.” While some see this as a thoughtful gesture, it doesn’t land with everyone. This article will explore some alternatives to help you express sympathy for people going through a hard time.
What Can I Say Instead Of “I’m Praying For You”?
Plenty of people will appreciate hearing “I’m praying for you,” but it’s still a good idea to know some alternatives.
Here are the phrases we’ll be going over in this article:
- Why can I do to help?
- I’m thinking of you
- Wishing you the best
- I’m sending you good vibes
- Let me know if you need anything
- You’re not in this alone
- I hope everything works out
- Can I pray with you?
- I’m here for you
- I’m rooting for you
The preferred option is “what can I do to help?” Like “I’m praying for you” this phrase shows that you care and you want their situation to improve. It also shows that you are willing to help. It’s action-focused, which will mean a lot to someone in a rough patch.
What Can I Do To Help?
“What can I do to help” is a phrase to say to someone going through a hard time. It’s best to only say this to someone you’re willing to do a favor for, but it’s appropriate for informal and formal settings alike.
It’s common for native English speakers to deny help when offered. If you say “what can I do to help” there’s a good chance the person you say it to will insist they’re fine and don’t need anything.
As such, it’s okay to say this to someone you aren’t very close to. As long as you’re actually willing to help, that is.
Even if they refuse your offer for help, it will be comforting to know that you are willing to help.
Here’s what this phrase might look like in context:
- I’m sorry to hear that. What can I do to help?
- I heard you would be out of the office for a few weeks. What can I do to help with your ongoing projects?
- Kerry told me you broke your leg. What can I do to help? Do you need me to go grocery shopping for you?
I’m Thinking Of You
“I’m thinking of you” is a similar sentiment as “I’m praying for you.” It shows that you care. The advantage of “I’m thinking of you” is it isn’t religious, making it a great substitute for folks who aren’t religious.
Like “I’m praying for you,” “I’m thinking of you” may come off as passive and impersonal if it isn’t paired with another phrase. As such, it’s most appropriate to use for people you don’t know well.
Here’s how you can use “I’m thinking of you”:
- I wrote “I’m thinking of you” on the office get well card. I didn’t know what else to put.
- I heard you’re going through a rough time. I’m thinking of you.
- We’re all missing you at the office. I’m thinking of you and your family in this difficult time.
Wishing You The Best
“Wishing you the best” is a good phrase to use as a sign-off to a personal letter or email. It’s appropriate in both formal and informal settings and clearly and effectively extends your well-wishes.
“Wishing you the best” can add warmth to any get-well message, and can feel more genuine than sign-offs like “warmly” or “best.”
Here’s how you can use “Wishing you the best”:
- Dear Maritza,
- I’m so sorry to hear you’re feeling unwell. Don’t worry about falling behind on your projects — I’m delegating to other teammates.
- Wishing you the best,
- Hey Tom,
- I heard what happened! Give me a call if you need to talk, okay?
- Wishing you the best,
I’m Sending You Good Vibes
“I’m sending you good vibes” is a great phrase to use in digital communications, especially when the hardship in question isn’t extremely serious.
“Good vibes” is a colloquial phrase that expresses hope and positive feelings. You can say “I’m sending you good vibes” if someone is having a rough day, or if you want to wish them good luck.
Here are some examples:
- That sounds rough. I’m sending you good vibes.
- I’m sending you good vibes. You got this!
- I’ve been there. I’m sending you good vibes.
Let Me Know If You Need Anything
This phrase is a great way to let someone know they can always come to you if they need anything. It’s common for people from countries like the US and the UK to refuse help when offered, but having the offer on the table can still feel good.
“Let me know if you need anything” is actionable and it helps take the pressure off someone who may need help and be too nervous to ask for it.
This phrase is appropriate in formal and informal settings and can be used with acquaintances and close friends alike.
Here’s how you can use this phrase:
- So sorry to hear you’re not feeling well. Let me know if you need anything.
- I’m available to make a grocery run or pick up your prescriptions. Just let me know if you need anything.
- I’m off work this week, so let me know if you need anything.
You’re Not In This Alone
“You’re not in this alone” can be used to emphasize that you’re able to help support someone through a difficult time or to emphasize that they have a strong support network.
Like “I’m praying for you,” “you’re not in this alone” is a gesture of support. It’s useful in formal and informal settings but may come off as disingenuous if you say it to someone you’re not well-acquainted with.
Here’s how you can use “you’re not in this alone”:
- I know things aren’t great right now, but remember: you’re not in this alone.
- You’re not in this alone. We’re all here for you.
- You’re not in this alone. You’ve got me, your mom, your sister, and all your friends. Let us help you.
I Hope Everything Works Out
“I hope everything works out” is a good phrase to say to someone you don’t know well. It’s also useful when you don’t know many details about the situation at hand. It shows you’re thinking about them without being overly personal or religious.
“I hope everything works out” is also a good phrase for situations that aren’t too serious.
Here are some examples:
- I heard you were going through something. You don’t have to talk about it. I just want to say I hope everything works out.
- I hope everything works out for you.
- I heard you’re having some trouble in the house search. I hope everything works out.
Can I Pray With You?
“Can I pray with you” is a great option for religious and spiritual people. Asking permission gives them the opportunity to tell you whether or not they’re comfortable with prayer. Asking to pray with them makes it more personal as it involves them in the process.
For someone who believes in prayer, group prayer can feel particularly supportive. Involving someone in the prayer process will allow them to direct the focus of the prayers.
Here are some examples:
- I’ve heard you’re going through some rough times. Can I pray with you?
- Can I pray with you? We can pray together or just sit together and pray on the same thought.
- I heard about your dad. Can I pray with you?
I’m Here For You
“I’m here for you” is a great way to emphasize that you care about someone and you’re available to support them. A more personal phrase, it’s best used with people you already have a relationship with.
“I’m here for you” is a phrase you probably wouldn’t use with a coworker. It’s more appropriate for use with friends and family, as the implication is you’re there for them emotionally.
Here are you can use “I’m here for you”:
- I’m here for you, okay? You don’t have to go through this alone.
- I want you to know I’m here for you. I’ll check in every morning.
- I understand what you’re going through. I’m here for you if you ever want to talk.
I’m Rooting For You
“I’m rooting for you” is something you can say when someone is trying to overcome an obstacle. It’s best used in a casual setting when you’re talking with friends.
“I’m rooting for you” isn’t appropriate when someone is dealing with a major obstacle like a major illness. It’s more appropriate in settings where the person you’re talking to has a bit more control over the situation.
Here are some examples to make its use clearer:
- I heard you’re struggling with your classes right now. I’m rooting for you!
- You can do better than your current job. I’m rooting for you to find something different.
- I’m rooting for you! I know things are hard, but you can do it!
Martin holds a Master’s degree in Finance and International Business. He has six years of experience in professional communication with clients, executives, and colleagues. Furthermore, he has teaching experience from Aarhus University. Martin has been featured as an expert in communication and teaching on Forbes and Shopify. Read more about Martin here.