10 Ways to Support a Friend who’s going through a Rough Patch

Megha Das

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10 Ways to Support a Friend who's going through a Rough Patch

When a loved one is going through a tough time, it can be difficult to find ways to help them. Instead of just staying with you because you don’t know what else to do, you can focus your energy on helping your friend in many different ways. Of course, we’re not all superheroes or knights in shining armor who can save the day with laser vision and sword skills, but there’s little we can do for our friends in need. Life can get rough. It can feel very unfair, especially when life chooses someone for no reason, or inflicts a string of misfortunes on the same person, one after the other.

Your friend may be struggling with mental illness, maybe you just went through the worst breakup you’ve heard of, or you need someone to turn to for an abortion. Everyone is different, and we all see life from our own personal perspective. Just because you’re stronger emotionally than a friend, or have gone through more grief and deprivation than them, doesn’t mean they haven’t gone through hard times. So whatever you do, don’t belittle their perception of recent life events or trivialize their problems. Hopefully, when the time comes, he will return the favor.

10 Ways to Support a Friend who’s going through a Rough Patch

1. Ask Them What They Need

You may be so busy taking care of your friend that you forget to ask him what he really needs. They may need alone space or time, so constant fussing around them can make things worse overall. Be clear and candid and ask specifically what you can do to get through this difficult time.

2. Give them time off

Give your friend the time he needs to process his feelings. This includes putting them on hold, putting the project on hold, taking over the reins, and not getting upset about declining the 100th invitation. They need a break. 

3. Don’t focus on success

The last thing your friends want to hear when their world is crumbling is your career, personal life, or startup progress. Of course, you’ll be happy when you’re back on track, but you may be feeling a little uneasy right now, and you could be plunging into the depths of despair.

4. Cry on their shoulder

Be the rock your friends can rely on during this dark time. Be one of the few people, or maybe the only one, with whom you feel completely comfortable, and let them know you don’t have to hold back. Sometimes the best you can do is just be there for someone when they need a hug. 

5. Be patience

The healing process cannot be speeded up. You may think that six months is enough time to get over your ex-boyfriend, but it may seem like the tip of the iceberg to your friend. Don’t rush your friends and give them the time they need to recover. 

6. Don’t burden them with your problems

Your friend probably wants to distract you by hearing everything that’s happening to you, but chances are you’re ignoring the most distressing aspects. Your friend has a lot of work to do right now. Yes, there is no need to add to his huge pile of worries about you and your problems. Consider reaching out to another friend or family member for advice.

7. Move with them for a while

If your friend receives devastating news, or is really struggling with life right now – and has no close relatives to turn to – offer to move in with them for a while until he gets back on his feet. Do chores, cook meals, and generally be there for them. When you are sick or sad, it is best to have someone to take care of you.

8. Show them that you want to understand and express sympathy

For example, if someone is suffering from a new medical diagnosis, you can say: You can also show kindness and approval by saying things like, “I’m sorry that you are suffering so much right now” or “You are in a very difficult situation.”

9. Check for suicidal thoughts

Emotional pain can be excruciating, especially for those who lack support and resources. This sometimes leads to suicidal thoughts. If your loved one is going through a difficult time, ask them directly if they have thoughts of self-harm or suicide, especially if they have had suicidal thoughts in the past. You may be reluctant to talk about suicide, but research shows that asking questions about suicide is unlikely to hurt you and can be beneficial. This opens up opportunities for sharing mental health resources such as the Crisis Text Line and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. It’s also helpful to discuss security plans, such as limiting access to firearms and other lethal means. 

10. Be realistic and compelling

Statements like “I’ll be fine”, “I could have been worse off”, or “I should stop thinking that way” often shame people into expressing their pain and pointing them in the right direction. Rarely. no. Instead, say, “We’ll find out together,” “So many people love you. You don’t have to go through this alone,” or “I’ve seen you go through very difficult times in the past.”.

Bottom Line-

Through this article, you will get to know how to support a friend who’s going through a rough patch. Hopefully, this article will be helpful for you. Thank you!

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