When someone you really care about is going through a difficult time, it can make you feel helpless. You notice something is off, and you want to be there for them, but you’re not sure if what you do or say will help or make matters worse. As a friend, however, you feel guilty not doing something. Though you may not be able to change the circumstances or instantly take away their negative emotions, there are things you can do as their friend to let them know you’ve got their back.
Let Them Know They’re Not Alone
When you’re going through something troubling, you can feel isolated. You start to feel like you’re in this alone. Your friend is likely experiencing the same. You can show them you’re there by expressing words of support and encouragement. Saying things like, “I know it’s hard, but I’m here if you need me” lets them know that they’re not alone and may encourage them to open up.
Social isolation is a common sign of life struggles or stress in a person’s life. If your friend has been missing in action as of late, don’t invade their privacy by barging into their space. Instead, send them a message so they know they’re on your mind. A simple, “thinking of you”, “miss you”, or “I love you” text can brighten their mood.
Encourage them to Get Help
Silence and space may be what your bestie needs right now, and it’s okay to give it to them. However, if you start to notice reckless behavior, a change in their health, or a deterioration in their personal care and hygiene, you may need to speak up. For example, if you notice your best friend is drinking more than usual, you should talk with them about making detox a priority so they can get their life back on track. Although you can’t force them to get help, sometimes knowing that you’re aware of their actions and willing to support them through the process will encourage them to reach out.
Be a Listening Ear
Sometimes too many opinions can make getting through a difficult time even harder. If your friend comes to you, be sure to listen more than you speak. Try to truly understand what they’re saying so you can get a full grasp on how you can help. Acknowledge their feelings and if they are open to it, then provide your advice or opinion on a matter.
Spend Quality Time with Them
Has your friend been cooped up in the house for the past few weeks? If so, you can be a great friend by trying to get them out of the house, in a productive way. Taking a walk or hike in nature, treating them to lunch, having a girl’s night out, or doing something just the two of you where you can talk and spend time with one another can be exactly what they need. It helps them to get their minds off of things and not go stir crazy sitting in the house all day.
Seeing a friend deal with anything difficult can be hard. Whether they just broke up with the love of their life, lost a dear loved one, are going through financial hardship, or are struggling with addiction, getting through it will require some time and the support of those who love them most. Show your bestie the love and support they need by using the above-mentioned tips. When they come out on the other side, they’ll be appreciative to know that you were there every step of the way.