Getting a friend through tough time can be challenging. Whether they are experiencing stressful circumstances in that moment or not, friends often turn to one another for support. This is because human by nature is vulnerable. We need each other’s to survive. On a general note, humans differ in terms of their physical strength and mental acumen. But, no matter how physically strong or intelligent specific individuals might be, all humans are equally vulnerable. This is in the sense that all humans are susceptible to various risks in life: they can all fall sick, die and have any kind of accident. Besides, no matter how strong a person might be, all humans have certain needs, ordinarily referred to as basic human needs: need for food, shelter, clothing and other general care that makes life meaningful and pleasant. However, the following are the magic ways you can help a friend without involving money.
Take the person aside and talk to them in private. Try to give the other person your undivided attention. Just a few minutes of listening can really help them to make a decision about what to do.
Listen carefully and with sensitivity. Listen without necessarily agreeing with them. Try saying something like: “It sounds like on the one hand, you very much want to please your family but on the other hand, you aren’t sure that what they want for you is what you really want to do.”
Be honest and direct, but avoid labeling your friend. Share what you have observed and why it concerns you using behavioral, not psychological terms. For example, you might say: “I’ve noticed that you’ve been missing class a lot lately and you aren’t answering your phone or text messages like you used to. I’m worried about you. What can I do to help?”
Make a referral. Direct the person for counseling. Encourage them to call and make an appointment right then and there. Or, you could offer to accompany your friend to the appointment. Sometimes, having a trusted friend in the room for that first appointment can be very helpful. Remember that we have Walk In appointments every day where no advance appointment is needed.
Follow up. Let the person know that you’ll be checking back with him or her later to see how things turned out.
Responding in a caring way to a person in distress can help prevent the distressed person’s situation from escalating into a crisis.