We all have people who are important to us, whether friends, family or colleagues, but our relationships with them are not always smooth; every once in a while we disagree and walk away from each other.
In some cases, a “distant friend” could indicate that the relationship is coming to an end. More often, though, it means they may not be in the right frame of mind: they haven’t been themselves, they no longer appreciate the things they used to. do, they cry more often than usual. This should immediately trigger alerts: they’re probably not well and they need you.
In the past, I’ve struggled to open up about my feelings because I haven’t always felt like I had a safe space to do so. But now I can say with confidence that I have found this safe space in my family. Others may find it in their friends, so here are some tips on how to support your family beyond blood if they ever feel down.
1. Establish yourself as a safe space
If there’s anything anyone – especially teenagers – could want, it’s a place surrounded by people they feel like they belong among. You don’t have to have everything in common or do everything together, but it is important that your friends feel comfortable with you and can be open and honest with you. If they don’t, they could be in a lot of trouble, and you wouldn’t know it or be able to help them.
Personally, I know that whether we’re close friends or not, I try to make everyone in my school feel and know they can talk to me, because everyone just needs that space. safe to express feelings or feel valued as a human being.
Be that person for someone else.
2. Validate their feelings
No one wants to feel alone, so the least we can do is try to make as many people around us feel understood. Naturally, you will not be able to relate to all experience of those around you, but if someone knows they have a friend by their side, not only will they realize that they do in fact have a place in the world, but that the problem they may be faced is much smaller than they initially thought.
So be there when they need to cry, scream, scream, rant, because if there’s one thing I know, it’s how damaging it can be when you don’t let your emotions. Remember that it’s often hard to be transparent about how you feel, so if your friend trusts you enough to open up, don’t abuse that trust and take advantage of their vulnerability. May they be safe, may they be comfortable, may they just be be.
3. Encourage them to talk about it
Talking about your problems almost always makes them less insurmountable. Sharing our feelings about our struggles, mental struggles, and emotional worries should be normalized because it never makes you less strong as a human being. Likewise, if someone doesn’t want to talk, they shouldn’t feel pressured to do so, but they should be reminded that having healthy and open discussions with those they trust should certainly be encouraged.
Never feel offended if a friend decides to talk with someone who isn’t you. We are naturally more comfortable with certain people, and will therefore gravitate towards them more; it does not invalidate someone’s status as a good friend. For example, there are surely issues that you would rather deal with with your mother than with your father, or with your siblings rather than with your parents. This does not mean that they cease to be your immediate family!
4. Share your experiences with each other
It is important to talk about the things you experienced in your time. It not only helps you come to terms with what you’ve been through, but can just let someone know they’re understood.
One of the reasons I started writing is because I wanted to create a platform where I could openly and honestly discuss things I’ve thought, seen, heard, and felt, and let teenagers around the world know. whole that they are not alone. If I help even one person feel less hopeless, that’s more than enough for me.
5. Establish an action plan
You and your friend must decide how you will meet the challenges that life inevitably presents. Maybe you both choose to take your time, going through the day knowing that no matter how that day goes, you have each other’s backs. Or perhaps your friend may feel that their journey of self-love, self-discovery, and inner peace is one they want to embark on alone.
It’s 100% understandable if they prefer the latter. The important thing is that your friend is willing to heal, and the way they wish to do so must be respected.
Communicate with them and figure out if they want you to be there for them every step of the way or if they prefer to handle everything themselves. In any case, it will allow you to find the best way to support your friend, which is the ultimate goal.
6. Check them out
Honestly, it costs nothing to text a friend and say, “I was thinking about you. If you want, you can even send them a package containing all their favorite things.
It’s definitely the thought that counts. Anyone would be thrilled to know that someone else thought of them and cared enough to reach out. I know I definitely would.
7. Respect their wishes
Sometimes people just want to be left alone. And while we may be upset to be left out, it’s important that we try to understand where they’re coming from. I always encourage others to put themselves and their well-being first, and if that means taking time to figure things out, even if it hurts, you have to respect and accept that. If anything, be proud them to know their limits and recognize that they need time.
8. Reassure them that you will be there
If there’s anything a person who finds things difficult could want, it’s the comfort of knowing that those they love will be there for them when they need them. Be the best friend you can be to them.
We are all different and behave differently in our friendships and interactions with others, so be sure to study and understand others. Everyone is unique – what works for one may not work for another.
If you have a friend who is going through a difficult time, try some or all of the points listed to help them. Alternatively, if you are friend who is struggling, I promise from the bottom of my heart that everything will be fine.