It's 2:00 a.m. and your phone rings. You wake up wondering who could be calling at this time of the night. You hear the voice of one of your friends, upset and crying. What do you do? Follow these 8 ways of comforting a friend in distress.
1Patiently Listen To Your Friend
Even though you'd prefer to go back to sleep, stay up and listen to your friend. You probably won't even need to say much. Let your friend talk things out and cry if they need to.
2Be There Physically
If your friend doesn't want to be alone, invite them to come over, or you could go to them. Your friend is in need; it's important to connect with them physically, if possible. While a telephone call will help, having you there with them is better.
3Offer Help Even In The Simplest Things
After they've had a good cry, offer to help them get through the first couple of days by doing the mundane things they might not think about. There's laundry to do, food to cook, and many other daily tasks they probably aren't thinking about. You can also offer babysitting services if needed. It will be much easier to leave their children with someone they know and trust rather than letting a stranger keep them.
Doing these responsibilities will allow them to do things they need to do. Even if they have other people in their lives to help them, you can still offer. If they don't take you up on your offer, they'll appreciate that you thought enough of them to want to help.
4Don't Forget To Check Often
Call them as often as appropriate to see if they need anything. This way, they know they can depend on you, and regularly checking in on them can comfort them. When things are uncertain, having someone they can count on can help make their life more normal.
5Make A Personalized Gift Basket
Gather together some of your friend's favorite things and make a gift basket. Fruit, candy, a deck of playing cards, a book they've wanted to read, a journal and pen are all great things to include in the basket. Tailor the basket to fit your friend's personality.
6Come Over And Watch Fun Movies Together
Your friend may not feel like going out, so bring over a movie or two, some snacks, and their favorite drink. A funny movie will help them forget their problems, even if momentarily. Be sure to bring plenty of tissues, too, to be on the safe side.
7Let Your Friend Feel You Have Their Back
Are they being abused? If you suspect your friend is in an abusive relationship, look them in the eyes and say, "I'm here for you if you need me." Looking at them in the eye will help give a sense of confidence that you mean what you say. Help them, and their children, be safe by letting them come to your house to call the domestic violence shelter or offer to take them there.
8Encourage A Positive Attitude
Avoid telling them, "I know how you feel," or a similar statement. The truth is you may not know how your friend feels, but they need to know they can turn to you when they need you and that you'll be there. Instead of allowing them to wallow in self-pity or despair, offer them a fresh look at the situation. For example, if they've just experienced a breakup, let them know how you see things to give them your perspective to the problems that led to the breakup. With a fresh perspective, they may find a solution they may not have seen before.
There is a myriad of things you can do to console a friend in need. The important thing is to be there for your friend and let them know they can turn to you. Learn what you need to do to understand their circumstances, so you'll know how best to help. Then reach out and touch them, and you'll touch their heart as well.