If you’re like me, you love your friends like family and would do anything to support them. That means you’re there for them through the good times and the bad. As a woman in her mid-twenties, it is no secret life can become challenging faster than we’re ready to accept. And, as we get older, we deal with real-life problems despite the happy social media presences we hide behind. Continue reading to learn how I support friends during hard times. Everyone is different, but we’re all here to be the best we can when our friends need us the most. So, I hope this post can help just one person navigating how to support their friends.
How to Know When Someone Needs Your Support
Sometimes our friends are open and let us know when something is wrong or when life gets tough. But, when that’s not the case, it can be challenging to understand when you can or should step in to help.
In my experience, I’ve learned it’s important to be aware of how your friends are behaving. Look for signs of stress, unanswered text messages, and anything else that seems out of character for them.
How to Tread the Fine Line of Being Supportive or Overbearing
Depending on the friendship you have, it could be easy to reach out and lend a listening ear, but it can also be a difficult thing to do for some.
Before I approach a friend I think might need some extra support, I think about how they like to communicate. Do we usually call, text, SnapChat, or FaceTime? If I’m not sure, I send them a text message so they can get back to me on their own time. Calling can often make people feel cornered into answering you or facing an issue they’re not ready to discuss yet.
When you send your friend a text, offer to hop on a phone call when they’re ready. This will help make them feel more comfortable opening up when they’re ready. You can also offer to take them out for lunch or coffee, suggest a girls day, or even a day to lay around and do nothing together.
But, make sure to continue your friendship as usual. Don’t base all your conversations about what they’re going through. Even if you mean well, this could end up pushing them away.
At the end of the day (whether it’s a good or bad one), friendship is one of the best blessings and distractions. So, don’t be afraid to offer your support.
Follow Up When You Think Everything is Better
In my experience, even if a friend is going through something I can’t fathom facing myself, they’re all strong enough to return to normal. When you think about it, life goes on, but depending on the situation, processing can take time.
I’ve found it valuable to check back in months later to remind my friend they have a safe space. And, to validate their pain, journey, and progress. This has been life-changing to be on the other end of as well. So, it’s one of my biggest pieces of advice to anyone supporting a friend or family member.
My hope in sharing this is to help shed light on how complicated, delicate, but important being there for your closest friends can be sometimes. I hope this serves as a reminder that we’re all human, we’re all different, and we all need a good friend and to be a good friend.