It can be hard to know how to support them. Here are 10 ways to help your friends when they need it most. You don’t have to go through this alone, so reach out and let us know what we can do for you!
Ask Open-Ended Questions.
Open-ended questions allow for dialogue and communication. Asking open-ended questions like “How are you feeling?”, “What can I do to help?” and “Is there anything you need from me?” allows the person to respond without feeling like they need to answer right away.
When trying to offer help, open-ended questions also allow your friend space for them to ask for exactly what they need without feeling guilty or embarrassed about it.
Letting your friend talk about their experience and offering up some of your own (if applicable) can be really powerful as it makes them feel like someone else cares and understands what they’re going through. Asking open-ended questions also opens up opportunities for you to ask more specific questions and gives your friend a chance to share their ideas.
Write a Letter.
It may seem like an old-fashioned way to offer some support, but sometimes a letter is exactly what someone needs. Letters tend to be more personal and are often more approachable.
You can write a letter to your friend letting them know you are thinking about them, sending all of your love their way. You could even fold a paper plane and write letters to your friend on it before sending it their way!
As well as offering some love and support, a letter can also be a good way to express yourself and your thoughts and feelings, which you might not otherwise have the opportunity to.
Give Them a Hug.
Hugs can be very therapeutic and comforting, which is why they are such a good way to offer comfort and support. Hugs make people feel loved and protected, offering a sense of security.
Hugs can be especially helpful for those who find it difficult to say what they need at a difficult time. It is a way for them to express their emotions of sadness, anger, or fear without putting them into words which can be very helpful.
You can never go wrong with hugging someone! A hug shows your friend that you care and want to help in any way that you can.
Sometimes, just being there to offer your hugs is enough. This may be especially useful if the person struggles with anxiety or depression. We all need some love and affection every now and again, regardless of what we’re going through.
Many people don’t realize how difficult it can be to talk about your feelings, especially when you’re struggling. Listening to what your friend has to say can be helpful. It shows them that you care and are willing to hear them out.
It can be beneficial to have someone listen without interruption, judgment, or feeling the need to respond. Sometimes people need to hear themselves talk to feel understood and cared for.
You can let your friend know that you are always available to listen to them whenever they need it, but please make sure you follow through with this! They will want to know that they can rely on you when times get tough.
As well as letting your friend talk about their feelings, listening to what they have to say can also be very validating for them. It can make them feel like their feelings are being acknowledged, which is very important in difficult times when emotions are heightened.
Offer to Help With Day-to-Day Tasks.
Whether it’s cooking dinner, giving someone a ride somewhere, or offering to do some laundry, helping with the everyday tasks can be a great way to provide support and save your friend from feeling overwhelmed.
It can be helpful to have someone there helping you out during difficult times. People often feel guilty for asking for help, but it’s okay to accept the help people offer!
You can let your friend know that it is completely fine if they need some extra help and support during a tough time. If they need a hand, you are there for them!
Be Patient and Understanding.
When someone is dealing with a difficult time, it can be overwhelming for them. They may need some time to process what is going on. You can let them know that it is okay to feel whatever they feel, and you will be there when they’re ready to talk.
Give them some time to process what they are going through before pouncing with your suggestions or advice. Remember that they may not be ready to talk about it yet, and that’s okay.
Your friend may not be in the best place to talk. There is never a set time to bring up complex topics such as these, so take things at your friend’s pace.
Be patient with them, but don’t forget about them either. Sometimes it can be easy to feel like nobody is there for you when you struggle with things. Remind them that you are there for them when they are ready to talk.
Give Them the Benefit of The Doubt.
When someone is struggling with something, it is very easy to jump to conclusions about what they are going through. You can help them by letting go of any preconceived ideas about the situation. Don’t jump to conclusions; let them tell you what is going on with them.
For example, let’s say your friend is acting really tired or isolating themselves. Don’t assume that they are just lazy or depressed. Try asking them if they are okay before jumping to conclusions about the situation.
It can be frustrating when people jump to conclusions about what you are struggling with, so it is important to give them the benefit of the doubt. They deserve a chance to share their story and their struggles with you.
It’s important not to expect too much from someone who may be struggling.
It’s always better to offer help than not, but if they don’t want it, that can be hard for you to handle. Just remember that it is okay for them not to need help or support, and there may be a reason they don’t want help that you don’t know about.
It can be hard when someone is struggling with something and tells you they don’t want help. You may feel you have to help, but your friend might not be in the right place yet. Let them know that you are there for them if they ever need support.
The most important thing is to make sure your friend knows that you are there for them. You can do this by asking how they’re doing and how you can help. Let them know that you are here for them if they need someone to talk to and respect their decision not to need help.
Take Care of Yourself!
When you are supporting someone through a difficult time, it can be hard on you too. You may find yourself thinking a lot about the situation and your friend going through it.
It is important to take care of yourself and remind yourself that you can’t help someone else if you aren’t okay. Make sure to eat well, stay healthy, and take some time for yourself.
You must take care of yourself as well. Make sure you are eating well, getting sleep, and doing things you enjoy. Taking a break from the situation at hand can be helpful for your mental health, and it can give you a chance to clear your mind.
Empathy is essential when communicating with people who are struggling. Sometimes, just saying that you understand what they’re going through and validating their feelings can make a world of difference.
Sometimes, when people struggle with things, it can be hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. They might feel like nobody understands or that they are alone in their fight.
It can be hard to feel this way, so try and remember that you understand how they feel.
For example, let’s say your friend is panicking because they are having a hard time studying for an exam. Saying things like “I know how you feel” or “I’ve been there too” can show that you understand and validate why your friend is feeling the way they do.
Remember, no matter what they are going through, they aren’t alone! We all struggle, and we all deserve support.
I hope you liked this article! If you did, please share it with your friends. Also, let me know if you have any advice to give people who are struggling! Leave a comment down below with your thoughts.
Joanna Perez is a Certified Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Practitioner, a passionate blogger, writer, traveler, wife, and mother of one boy. Joanna loves to share her thoughts on parenting, health, wellness, and lifestyle.
She is a Certified Women Empowerment Life Coach and has done courses on Life Mastery, Happiness, Health, and Success. She also has studied Neuroscience for Parents and took the Skilled Helper Training Course.
She believes in helping people become the best version of themselves and strives to provide quality informative and inspiring content. She loves animals, especially her two cats, and can often be found taking photos of them as they pose for the camera.