We’ve all got a friend we’d do anything for, and when they’re going through a hard time, of course, you want to help. It’s not always easy to know what to do, and sometimes this means you do nothing. It might help you to think about the times you’ve been in need and what your friends did for you on these occasions. Was there anything in particular that you found helpful or were there things that hurt you? Did you have friends that kept their distance? People are often confused about what to say and do, so here are five ways you can help a friend in need.
- Offer Help
Don’t be that friend who pretends nothing is wrong and don’t wait for them to let you know they need help. People generally find it very difficult to ask such a question. If your friend is going through a difficult time, even the simplest of tasks can be too much for them. Offer them a shoulder to cry on by all means but think about other ways you can help. You might offer to do some shopping for them if you’re going to the supermarket. If you’re cooking a huge pot of soup, offer to save some for them.
- Don’t Force It
If your friend doesn’t want to accept the help you offer, then allow them to make that choice because unfortunately, trying to force the issue might only make them feel worse. It might not be in their nature to accept help, or they may genuinely not need it. Respect what they say, but don’t let it put you off offering support in the future.
- Do You Know What’s Best?
Whatever problem your friend is going through, are you informed enough to offer your advice? When a person is going through difficult times, it can feel like everything is out of their control. If you come along and try to take over, this is going to make them feel worse. They are an adult, after all, so let them make their own decisions. Alternatively, they might be happy to let you take charge and make decisions for them.
Whatever they decide to do, be there for them. For example, your friend might realize they have a problem with addiction and need professional support. Help them find a treatment center, such as Novo Detox, and support them through the process.
- Listen More & Talk Positively
When a friend is going through a difficult time, it’s best if you listen more than talk. Unless they ask for your opinion, don’t feel the need to give it. Keep your own emotions under control even if your friend’s situation is making you angry. You’ll be far more helpful if you can stay calm and listen. Additionally, if a person has a problem, it can be difficult for them to see a bright future, so you need to help them look beyond that and give them things to look forward to, such as dinner together or a weekend away.
Most important of all, you need to let them know that you’re there for them. Not just now, but in the future as they move forward.
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