Struggle is a part of life and once we get through it, new opportunities come around and lessons have been learned. However, that doesn’t mean that we have to get through it by ourselves. Sharing our struggle can sometimes lift off a good amount of pressure and brings friends closer together.
As we are all different people, we all like to be reassured and helped in different ways. The problem is we don’t always realise this about one another, and there is no one way for every person. Part of caring for someone is knowing how to show affection in a way that works for them.
One of the basics of helping someone should simply be listening. This might seem very basic, but I think it is a universal thing we can sometimes forget. Listening can help, as you are giving them the chance to vent about their situation and very often, even find the solution or a comforting fact themselves.
After that, it really depends on the other person’s needs. Some might be alright with just having an ear, while others might want more help. Here are some ways you can help them:
1. Offer potential solutions
Some people find it hard to come up with a solution to their problem, and are more than happy if somebody goes through the situation and works out a plan with them. Even if in the end, your friend decides to do something completely different, the sheer fact that there are so many possibilities for them, let’s them see things more brightly.
2. Offer optimism
Another thing we can try is giving a positive outlook on the situation. Sometimes the angle in which we look at a problem is too pessimistic for our own good, and once we look at it in a different light, it doesn’t seem as bad. Always try show them the positives of their situation. However, be careful not to undermine your friend’s feelings, their emotions are valid after all. Make sure that is clear before suggesting your take on the situation.
3. Offer understanding
Other times, the issue simply is what it is and there’s not a whole lot you can do. Instead, agreeing with your friend on their struggle can work as well. It is a way of showing empathy for them and validating and valuing their emotions.
4. Offered practical help
Other than offering a solution to their struggle, it might be that we as a friend can’t do much for them, like during a break up. However trying to relax your friend; cook them something or order their favourite dish. Make them feel happy about the little things you do for them. It might not seem like much, but it is an easy and simple way of making someone feel loved and cared for.
5. Just be there for them.
Even in silence. Maybe none of above ways succeed. The one thing you can always do is simply being there fpr them – not necessarily saying anything but keeping them company.
Still here? Check this out: College Stress And The Danger of Burning Out