Nobody wants to see their friends encounter struggles and hardships, but it is just the nature of life. There are times where your friends might have issues, whether in their relationships, at work, or with their families. As a good friend, you want to be there for them no matter what. You don’t just want to be an extra body, though. You want to provide genuine help and support to help them through their issues, and here are eight ways to do that.
Offer a Place to Stay
If your friend is between homes because of sudden eviction or a lack of funds to pay for rent, you can offer them a place to stay until they get back on their feet. Of course, this is easier said than done, and it can be highly inconvenient for some people, especially if you have kids or other things going on.
That said, you don’t want your friends to end up on the streets or in a dangerous situation, so a place to stay, even if it’s just for a few weeks, should be enough. This will give them the chance to sort their lives out and provide the stability they need to start work on fixing problems.
Encouragement can often feel hollow, but it’s the mere act of encouragement that can do wonders for self-esteem. If your friend is struggling to find work, has recently gone through a break-up, or experienced something else in their life, you can offer the encouragement necessary to help them look at the positives, even if these positives are difficult to spot.
It’s difficult for anyone going through hardships to stay positive, which is why outside encouragement is so crucial. This will give them a new perspective and help them keep their chin up, even if they don’t feel like doing so.
Help them Find Solutions
During bad times, it’s easy for people to feel lost. But, they can be too exhausted from bad news to feel like doing anything. As their friend, you can support them by helping them find solutions. This could be asking them about career changes, or it could be helping them research the appeals process if they have been convicted of a crime.
This approach can be delicate, and it may not always work, especially if they are still coming to terms with their situation, but proving that you are willing to look for solutions demonstrates how much you care. Which they are sure to appreciate.
Get Them Involved
Bad news can cause their entire world to be flipped upside down, and it can be challenging to find solid ground. Your friend may feel lost and useless; they won’t know what to do with themself, and this can be the start of a vicious cycle.
You don’t want them to spend all day sitting around the house, so you need to get them involved in things. This could be as simple as playing games or watching TV, or it could be going for a run or going to the gym. Doing anything can help them take their mind off their bad situation and give them the chance to enjoy doing something, whether for an hour or an entire day.
Give Them Space
It can be tricky to know the line when supporting a friend. You want to be there for them without being intrusive, so it’s also important to give them space if they look like they need it. They might not tell you outright, so look for non-verbal signs to help you realize when they need space.
People can have different reactions to this, though. Some might relish the space you give them, whereas others could feel even more isolated than they already are with too much space. You will need to find the perfect balance that provides support without overwhelming them.
Don’t Talk, Just Listen
There are many benefits to being a great listener, and sometimes, people don’t want solutions or action; they just want someone to listen to them. Allowing friends to rant about their problems can be cathartic. It enables them to get out any issues that have been causing them trouble, and they can feel better for it.
Often, they might even come to a realization and find the solution to their problems all by themself. This is usually better for them than having others point them in the direction they think is best, as it gives them the confidence that they are capable of looking after themself.
Lend a Hand
Whether you need to help them move house, do the grocery shopping, or give them a ride to and from lawyer’s offices or the hospital, lending a hand is always a much-appreciated gesture. It can take a lot of the stress out of their days, as they don’t need to worry about catching taxis or renting expensive moving vans, among others.
By being available, you immediately give them the support they need, and they know they can call on you when needed. Even if you can’t make it there each time, you can still do enough that makes them feel they have someone.
Ask What They Need
It’s no use guessing how to best support your friend. Sometimes, you will need to ask them what they want outright, as this can be the only way to help them effectively.
They may not be clear with what they want; they might not know themselves. However, you can work with them to find out what they need, and you can do whatever they need. Even if it is just picking up some food and spending some time with them, it should be enough to be supportive.
Being a good friend in times of need is all about being there and being prepared to do whatever they ask. Sometimes, they won’t need you to do anything, but they recognize that the support you are offering is enough to help them understand that they are not alone. From the small to the substantial, there are all kinds of support that you can offer to help them no matter what they are going through.