Last week,while he was here in the States for a company visit, my UK friend was told that his employment was being terminated. This is the same friend who had decided to find a new job, anyway, but he expected to leave on his own terms and in his own time. Being told that he was being "terminated" before he had all his ducks in a row, was quite a blow. Having been in similar situations, I knew exactly how he felt and was able to articulate those feelings when talking with him, to show I understood how he felt (he tries very hard to be uber-stoic, so when I saw his sadness, I knew he was taking the situation hard). Did what I could to ease the pain, as any friend would do.
Today, in a IM chat, he told me how much my support meant to him. :-) Considering how logical, rational, and pragmatic his demeanor usually is, the fact that he shared that sentiment with me is a big thing. Oh, I knew he appreciated my support, but it went deeper than I thought.
I don't always get it right when it comes to figuring out what someone else needs at any particular time. I got it right this time and I feel good knowing that I was able to bring the right kind of help to someone who needed it.