While taking proper care of your mental health is always important, you also need to think about those closest. You may know better than anyone how beneficial support from others can be. However, it’s sometimes difficult to know the best way to approach this. You want to be careful and caring, but you also don’t want to seem too overbearing. If you know someone going through tough times, here is some advice for you to remember.
Don't downplay their problems
One of the worst things anyone can do is downplay the problems of the person they are speaking to. This isn’t always malicious. Instead, it offers context. This context, however, is not what the person is looking for. Even if you don’t think the problem is as bad as they are making out, you don’t know the entire story. In this respect, your only job is to be there for your friend.
Sometimes you just need to listen
Many people feel like they need to offer solutions. They believe they are expected to reach a conclusion that solves all the problems, but this isn’t always necessary. Sometimes, people want to vent. They do not need a conversation, but want to feel like they are being heard and nothing more. If you can be there, sit with your friend, and let them unload every frustration, they will feel like they have someone who cares.
Share your experience
However, if you have experience with similar issues, you can share what has happened and any steps you took to overcome your struggles. You must be careful with this, though. It’s important that you only offer your experience if asked for it without making the conversation about you, as this can derail your chat and may end up with you both focusing on the wrong thing.
Ask what you can do for them
You can also help them by asking what you can do for them. Some people may feel awkward asking directly for help, and you can anticipate this. They may want you to do something simple like getting groceries or taking their dog for a walk. They may request something more substantial, like asking you to book an appointment with a Psychologist if they do not feel up to the task.
Check in with them regularly
People also don’t want to feel as if they have been abandoned, so checking in with them will make them feel loved. You don’t need to call them every moment of every day, and they should hopefully understand you can’t drop everything to help them every time. As long as you’re there for them and check in as often as possible, you can help your friend feel like they have someone looking out for them.
Being there for those closest may not solve all their problems, but it can be very important for them to know they have someone by their side through thick and thin. If you know anyone having trouble with anything in life, you can use these tips to help them feel a little better.
Thank you for reading. Please take care of yourself when also helping others. Sometimes we can forget.