Chances are, there will come a time in your life when you feel you must be there for a friend. Everybody goes through rough patches and hard times, and one of the best things you can do is make sure you are there for a friend if they need you. You would hope that they’d do the same for you, right?
With that in mind, here are a few ways you can really be there when a friend is in need. Take a look:
Stay Off Your Phone
When you’re spending time with a friend who needs you, and even just a friend in general, one of the best things you can do is stay off your phone. Spending too much time on your phone is rude and it means you have checked out of the conversation/situation. Put your phone away and forget about it. Give your full attention to your friend.
Check In On Them But Know When They Need Space
Check in on your friend often, but don’t suffocate them. If you do, they will likely reject it and start to ignore you. You need to be smart about when to check on them and when you feel they may need space.
Don’t Give Up
If they don’t seem receptive to visits and texts at first, don’t give up. Let them know that you’re there for them even if they don’t feel like talking.
Be Specific In Ways You Can Help Them
If you ask your friend, ‘do you need anything?’ – they’ll probably just say no if you’re not specific.
Tell them you’re batch cooking or heading to the supermarket and ask them if they would like dinner, or like something from the store. They are more likely to say yes to the help you offer if it’s specific. Don’t just say, ‘if you need anything, let me know’ as they will likely not bother asking.
Don’t Force Your Help On Them
If your friend really doesn’t want your help, don’t force them to take it. This could make matters worse. Again, this is a situation in which you’ll need to use your common sense.
Only Offer To Do Things You Can Genuinely Do
You should only offer to do something for a friend if you are confident you can genuinely do it. Breaking promises likely will not go down well with your friend when they are in a fragile state, and you will seem unreliable and untrustworthy.
Don’t Assume You Know What’s Best For Them
You may think you know what is best for your friend, but you can’t force your opinion onto them. It’s their decision at the end of the day how they live their lives and how they are going to move forward. You simply can’t make their decisions for them. Even if you did, what lessons would they learn from it?
Whether you’re bailing them out of jail with Absolute Bail Bonds, Inc or trying to get them to go to rehab or some kind of support group, you can only truly help them if they want to be helped.
Make Sure They Can Trust You
You need to show your friend that they can trust you. Don’t judge them when they speak to you. Listen in an unbiased way. Listen more than you talk, too. Sharing your own stories that help you relate to what they are saying is ok, but too much and you’ll seem like you’re making this all about you.
You don’t have to give your friend advice – be smart though, as some friends do genuinely want to hear an outsider’s perspective and your opinion. It will likely depend on the friend and what they are going through, so you do need to use common sense here. Just make sure you make it clear to them that whatever is going on, a solution is their decision and theirs alone. Empathize with them and let them know you understand, or at least trying to understand what they are going through. If they are having a particularly rough time, they may think nobody will ever understand anyway.
Talk Positively To Them About Things In The Future
Remind them of all of the positive things they have to come in the future. What do they have to look forward to? What’s coming up for them? See if you can get them involved in a conversation.
Be thoughtful by sending them messages that will make them laugh or smile, and even by buying small gifts. Let them know you are thinking of them.