Everyone wants their best friends to be happy, so it’s difficult to see them hurting. But how do you help friends overcome their problems?
There’s no perfect answer, but there are a few things you can do to show them you care. Keep reading to learn the 5 best ways to help and support a friend in need.
1. Listen Without Judgment
Friendly advice can be great, but listening is often more powerful.
A lot of times, people bottle up feelings that they just need to say aloud. So if you listen without interjecting your opinion, it could be exactly what they need. To show them you are really listening, make eye contact, and put away distractions.
If they end the conversation by asking for your advice, that’s a good time to give it. But if not, just be a steady rock for them.
2. Be Trustworthy
Nothing’s worse than having your secrets spilled. So don’t do it to others.
If your friend confides in you, it means they trust you. And if they feel betrayed, they may not want to share their problems with you again. However, if you feel that what they’ve shared could lead to self-harm or suicide, you should tell another trusted person.
3. Validate Their Feelings
After listening to your friend, you want to show them that you’ve heard what they had to say. Responding with “I’m sorry to hear that” or “that sounds very difficult” is a great way to do this.
And if it feels right, you can share an experience of your own akin to their situation. Don’t steal the spotlight, but make them know that they’re not alone in their thoughts and feelings.
4. Meaningful Gestures
Letting your friend know you’re thinking about them is always a great way to show you care.
A meaningful gesture could be as simple as sending a text or elaborate as inviting them to a night out. Going out with them could be especially beneficial if they live alone, or don’t see others. It will likely get them to have some fun and ease their mind for a few hours.
5. Suggest Professional Support
This one only applies if your friend is considering getting help. It is never a good idea to force it upon someone.
But if you feel your friend needs a slight push to make the call, suggest they give professional help a try. You could even attend the first meeting with them for extra support.
And if your friend wants help without committing to full-time therapy, suggest a retreat. This service is a great example of a way to get counseling in a supportive environment without seeing a professional once a week.
Now You Know How To Support and Help Friends
Give these tips a try to help friends out with their problems. It’s never an easy journey, but they will definitely appreciate the effort you’re putting into their wellbeing.
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