Hi there I am pretty new here and I passed through a hell lot of problems, so right now I want to make the others feel better. But I struggle a little with the approach, so I would like some suggestions. How should I introduce myself? Should I just question people or wait for them to tell me? And if they just do small talk, should I try to be more intrusive and ask about their problems or just let them be? And if they are in need of professional help and I can do nothing for them, what should I do? Any other advice is appreciated.
I usually just introduce myself and ask if there's anything they'd like to talk about. I try to be an ear, a friend if only for a few minutes. Someone they can feel free talking to. If they seem like they want me to ask pressing questions I will, but other times I let them be the ones to bring up the issues. Those that want to talk will, I feel like it's just my job to be there if they do.
It depends on the person. You just kind of have to feel it out. Sometimes the person wants to go right into what's troubling them - other times people just want to small talk before getting into it as that makes them more comfortable. I usually ask "what would you like to talk about?" If it's obvious they're not initiating anything. And then just kind of take it from there. Questions are good to draw out more of the story but don't bombard the person with questions as that's overwhelming. You mostly want to act as a sounding board to help them articulate what they're feeling. If they are in need or professional help of you feel you're not qualified to help, you can tell them that you wish you could help more but you honestly think they should get some sort of professional help. Just be honest. You can refer them to a hotline as well.