In this day and right now, someone you know may be going through a hard time. It may be because of a death in the family, a serious relationship that ended, devastating health news, or something else. What matters is that sometime or other, you may have been on the receiving end of support by a friend and you need to pay it forward.
You may think that your friend is probably already receiving lots of help from other people and your help isn’t needed anymore, but there isn’t such a thing as too much help. Friends can make the hardest of times more bearable, and they’ll need your help to come out on the other side of it. In this article, we list five ways you can help a friend in trouble.
Most of the time, what your friend really needs is not advice but someone who will listen and validate their feelings. Just listen and do not criticize their actions. In some situations, they may not be ready to talk yet but remind them that you’ll be all ears for them when they finally do. Just by telling them that you are there for them may already make a whole lot of difference.
- Reach out.
Sometimes crises occur when people feel isolated and hopeless. They could push you away because they might think that no one and nothing could help them in their situation. You’ll need to be patient and not give up so easily. Assure them that they are not alone and, if the problem looks to be much bigger than you thought, like alcohol or substance abuse, you could also direct them to a professional. If the problem is about substance abuse, The Recovery Village Ridgefield will be able to assist.
- Make them laugh.
Every conversation doesn’t always have to be about what they are going through. Sometimes, people just want to forget about their hardship, even briefly. Tell them stories, funny anecdotes, gossip, anything to keep their mind off their problem and make them smile even for a while.
- Send them something or take them out.
Many unhappy people don’t want to go out or socialize and would rather stick around their house. Try and give them a little push by taking them out to do a favorite activity. Treat them to a movie, spa massage, or any pursuit that the usually enjoyed. Or, you can ask them to join you in a sport or recreation that they haven’t tried before. It can be anything from biking to hiking and camping.
If you live too far away to join in any activity, sending them small gifts or care packages can cheer them up. You do not have to spend a lot. A small candy or chocolate bars can bring a smile to their face. It can also be in the form of funny e-cards or interesting articles you’ve come across. This will let them know that you are thinking of them and possibly cheer them up.
- Just show up.
It’s one thing to ask them what you can do for them, but it’s quite another to actually show up and provide help. Offer to look after the kids so they can go out and enjoy themselves, provide a meal, help around the house, offer a ride to the hospital or accompany them to an appointment, or just be there and give them a shoulder to cry on. The important thing to remember is, every little bit helps.
Friends make the hardships in life easier to get through. Do everything you can to help, but at the end of the day, also know that you aren’t in control. You can’t fix everything but you can make it somewhat better, and that is the most important thing of all.