Q: "How should I be there for my friend. She's going through a rough patch... it's nothing serious, I just don't know what to say"
A: Hey people. I apologize for my mediocre post last week… I got some funny dms regarding the lack of effort and creativity. The past few weeks have been terribly busy and so mentally draining. I always write about checking in on your friends and being there for the people who need your support. A lot of family and friends have been amazing support systems and people to lean back on. It’s hard to know the right thing to say or how you can support your friends in concrete ways so I wanted to share with you some small, yet meaningful acts of kindness or strategies you can use to show your friends that you care.
Best Friends vs. Close Friends
It goes without saying that of course you’re going to be there for your people but to what extent? Well, it depends on the person and the circumstances. With your best friend, you know their limits and boundaries. Facetime, text, show up on their front step, ‘being there’ isn’t even really a thing because when it comes to your best friend, you are ALREADY there if that makes sense. However, I’ve found that it’s hard to know how to act with close-ish friends when they are going through a difficult time, whether it is just school stress, boy problems, or something much bigger than that. Some people will really need space while others need constant attention. If you’re unsure what those boundaries are, I’m almost 100% certain that it will become obvious.
Hey, I'm just checking in. I know you had a rough day and I am ALWAYS here for you. No need to respond, just wanted you to know that I’m thinking about you and I love you.
Nothing brightens your friend's day like a little surprise act of kindness. Bring them coffee, a pastry, froyo, or boba as a treat to school or drop it off at their house. Think of the things they love or need right now: send them your quizlet for an upcoming test to take that stress off their plate, send them a special playlist you made for them, pick them up and go for ice cream, plan all the details for a fun hangout together to bring up their spirits. This is kind of random but a friend of mine was having a rough day and another friend of mine offered to drive her car home so she could just relax and decompress. While not everyone is going to offer to drive someone else’s car, this was such a sweet deed that really did help that one friend who needed some support.
When it’s a friend you truly care about, then there’s no better way to show your support by showing up to their house and just listening. Tell them you want to go on a walk or sit and watch a show. Good company is always a great cure.
Try and think of a better way to address your friends when you see them besides, “how are you?” or “let me know if there’s anything I can do”. It’s well-intended and maybe others dont care but at least on the receiving end, it just feels meaningless. When life is just sucky I don’t want to tell people that I’m good… I also don’t want to say that I’m bad. Maybe try, ‘do you want to talk about it’, ‘rant to me’, ‘I’m really happy to see you and I hope things are better’, or something along those lines.
Second of all, but probably most importantly. You HAVE to be there for yourself before you can be there for others. It’s not selfish to refrain from overextending yourself to help your friends when you can’t help yourself go through your own troubles. Remember that.
You got this,