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Why Hoda says you shouldn’t hand a tissue to your crying friend

The TODAY co-anchor says you can help your friends get their emotions out by just being there for them.

Picture this: Your friend is crying, and you don’t know what to do. Do you immediately hand them a tissue?

It’s Hoda Kotb’s first instinct, but she says there may be a reason to hold back.

“Let me tell you what that does when someone hands you a Kleenex: It makes you stop,” she told fourth hour co-host Jenna Bush Hager on Feb. 3. “You’re not done yet; you need to get it out.”

Sometimes, just being there is the best way to help: “Be there; be right next to them. Do not hand a Kleenex unless they ask … just be next to them,” Hoda advised.

The TODAY co-anchor said she learned this lesson herself when someone pointed it out to her. “I’m always trying to stop the sadness,” she said.

“And I think particularly with kids, right?” Jenna added. “Let them get angry or get sad.”

Indeed, Hoda referenced a book she reads to her daughters Haley and Hope about a rabbit who doesn’t try to fix things (likely “The Rabbit Listened”) but instead just sits and waits until the child is ready to share.

“The hardest thing is to sit next to somebody and let them let it out,” she said.