How to Help a Friend in Need

Cristina Zirilli author of Ask Cristina, Reporter

There will come a time when a friend of yours needs you to be there for them. Difficult times happen to the best of us, and here are some tips to make sure you show your friend the support they need right now.

Show them unwavering support. They need to know that no matter what you support them. They will probably get irritable, sad, mad and angry. There are going to be mood swings. Support them anyway. Be extra sensitive. Due to their moodiness you will probably have to watch what you say to them. They are going through so much on the inside, that any flack from you could deeply upset them. It is going to be really hard but you just have to limit what you to say to positive things only.

Try to put up with the way they are currently acting the best you can. If you really care about this person, you are going to have to put up with the way that they are acting right now. If they get sad, hug them. If they get mad, try to bite your lip instead of getting annoyed at them. Recognize that their emotions aren’t a reflection of you, rather a reflection of their stress. You can’t hold them accountable for their current actions. They are acting out of stress. Do the best that you can to put up with their current actions and know that they are not your fault!!

Care about them anyway. You might be so angry, after some time goes by, at the way your friend is acting out. Care about them anyway. If you cared about your friend in good times you owe it to them to care about them in bad times too. Take comfort in knowing that when you go through a difficult time they will do the same for you.

Know that they will do the same for you. It might be really hard for you to put up with the mood swings of this person, but know that when you are in need, they will be there for you. This may even increase the bond between you. Things go in cycles, and sooner or later you will need support. You stood beside your friend during this hard time, and one day it will them standing by you.

Understandably you are probably hurting because your friend is going through a hard time, and it makes you sad to watch them cry, sulk and not act like themself. They will probably act out or shut down. Maybe both. You need to understand that their current actions aren’t reflective of you. They are a reflection of their situation. This person feels close enough to you that they choose to share the situation that they are going through with you. They will also show you all of their emotions, which you might internalize, but realize that they are going through an extremely difficult situation, and that you can’t take their current emotions personally.