How To Assist A Friend Going Through Difficulty


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Life changes occur in many forms; from the end of a relationship, to the start of a new career, perhaps a baby on the way. It may be a form of loss, a step in the direction to end their addiction, and along this path, it is important to have like minded people to help you. If your friend is starting their own business venture, then encourage them instead of putting their dreams down. Try and offer advice. Try and educate them gently, if you think they are making a poor decision. If they are heading through a period of financial difficulty, point them in the direction of help. Here are firstly some tips to assist someone during this time: 

See the bright side

The situation cannot be 100% bad, despite what your friend is going through. Ask them what the positive aspects of what you are discussing, you may help them change their perspectives on things. In addition to this, you may want to look at ways to cheer them up with positive stories – telling them to focus on their business or other good things in their lives. 

Help others

Suggest that your friend accompany you to help another person, whether it is visiting an elderly person, helping out a loved one or volunteering. By helping others, everyone automatically feels better. Therefore offer your wisdom and assistance. Buy them something they may need personally or professionally – you may want to look here for inspiration. 

If for example its finances that are causing the difficulties it can be very difficult to think straight so one useful way you could help is to talk through the issue utilising calculator.me. This is a really useful online free calculator site where you can run the calculations in terms of repayments or costs on a whole host of types of loans.  This can be a really useful starting point if recalibrating finances is a key concern.  There is also a very useful financial planning section where you can view retirement and financial planning calculators. A little bit of knowledge can go a long way to alleviate concerns and assist.

Be present

It doesn’t matter what you say or what you do. The main thing is that you are there. Turn off your cell phone, don’t look at your watch, and listen to your friend without expressing judgment or even advice unless they ask you to. Grab a coffee, go for a walk, order pizza. These small things can help calm people down and make them realize that they are not alone. 

Do good together!

A balanced meal based on fruits and vegetables, a half-hour walk in the middle of nature, a yoga class or a meditation session… these small gestures increase the feeling of well-being, it is scientifically proven! And when your body and mind get better, you may be able to consider solutions that you hadn’t thought of. Try doing this with your friend, because this could help them see the bigger picture. A healthier lifestyle will most definitely assist them.

To use compliments

Your friend is probably prone to harsh self-criticism at this difficult time, which increases their anxiety and the risk of depression. Remind them of their qualities, strength, and talents. A sincere compliment can do wonders as it would do for you, undoubtedly. 

Let them know they have options, such as therapy and counselling

It might be that you have tried absolutely everything and yet your friend is still clearly struggling. This can be heartbreaking and hard to watch, but you can’t take it personally. Sometimes, despite our best efforts, they fall flat. What’s important is that your friend knows you care and knows you are there for them when they need you. In the meantime, there are qualified professionals who can help, and they might make all the difference. Sometimes talking to an objective, unbiased professional can turn a life around. The problem is, not all of us ask for help until we’re really struggling. Encourage your friend to reach out – bring the conversation out in the option. All too often, mental health issues are unjustly stigmatised, but having a friend lead the way might help. Let them know that there are options such as online counselling available, for when they can’t face leaving the home. Every small step counts. 

Offer them the help they need

To help a friend or loved one through a difficult spell, you must first learn some key points. These will assist you in helping their recovery and leading them to a happier path. Here are some points to consider: 

  • Listen and take an interest in what the person is going through: The greatest quality of a caregiver for a depressed person is their ability to listen. To encourage your loved one to speak up, you need to have an attitude of openness, gentleness, and patience. Encourage the person to talk about their pain. Expressing your feelings is sometimes difficult. Depressed people don’t want to be rushed. Listen carefully, speak little, and maintain constant eye contact.
  • Take their suffering seriously: Don’t trivialize anything. And above all, avoid uttering phrases such as:


    Pic Credit: Unsplash

      • Many people go through more tragic things than you do and are not depressed.
      • Everyone has their own problems.
      • Your problem is not that serious. I have been through much worse things and I have survived.
  • Show them affection: One of the best things you can do to help your loved one is to show them that you care. If you feel that the person in question is in need of physical comfort, and if your relationship allows it, don’t hesitate to give them a hug. It can do so much good. It is also very helpful to state your unconditional support, for example by saying:
      • I love you no matter what you say or do.
      • To me, you are so important.
      • I’ll never abandon you.
  • The support of someone you trust is essential, especially during deep anxieties. Even if your loved one seems indifferent, know that they appreciate your efforts to help them.
  • Understand as much as possible: This is vital because when you make an effort to understand the situation, it will make them also see things in a different light. Here are the typical symptoms of depressed people:
      • Sadness
      • Insomnia and fatigue upon waking up
      • Intolerance of minor annoyances
      • Loss of general interest
      • Self-isolation
      • Affective indifference
      • Sometimes aggressive behavior
  • To help you better understand your loved one, think back to your own dark times. Remember how difficult, if not painful, everything got in this state of desperation. Imagine how difficult it would be for you to live this way for a long time.
  • Be tolerant: Avoid responding to aggression with aggression. Because of their pain, people with depression sometimes say hurtful words for no apparent reason. Don’t take these offenses too seriously. Recognize that the person doesn’t mean harm to you. Their mood swings are not personal towards you. 
  • Promote closeness: Regularly spend quality time with your loved one, including one-on-one. Suggest outings or find activities you can do together. It gives your loved one the opportunity to open up about what is wrong. The important thing is to create a warm atmosphere in which your loved one wants to share their feelings.
  • Perhaps your main concern is wondering if your assistance has actually contributed. There are two ways to answer this question. First, carefully observe the behavior of your loved one in various situations. Ask them how they are feeling, gently and carefully and see if they open up to you about the ways in which you advised them have helped, or if they are seeing things in a different way also.
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