You want to be compassionate without philosophizing

When you see your friend or colleague at work, you hopefully get a warm smile, a friendly hello, and maybe a little chat about your favorite TV show that was on last night. But at times, as soon as you see him, you know something’s wrong. His shoulders are slumped, his gaze is distracted, and that smile is now a straight line. Maybe he just found out that he’s going to be laid off during the upcoming merger, or his husband has cancer, or the massive contract his team was about to win went to his competitor. 

You want to say something helpful and supportive. But you don’t know what to say, so you can just rely on some old standbys, right?