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When in emotional distress, people often turn to others for support. But can listeners tell what support the sharer needs? Across three experiments, PhD student Lisanne Pauw, together with her supervisors Disa Sauter, Gerben van Kleef and Agneta Fischer, examined whether sharers can effectively communicate their support needs to the listener. They found that sharers indeed expressed their emotions differently depending on the type of support that they were seeking (socio-affective vs. cognitive support). However, listeners did not pick up on these cues. Instead, they consistently perceived the sharer to predominantly want socio-affective support. These findings help explain why many social sharing instances revolve around socio-affective support, leading to subjectively experienced benefits, but not to genuine recovery.