When you have a friend going through a crisis such as an extended illness, a parent that is aging or dealing with a disease or dealing with a troubled teenager, you probably wonder how you can be supportive of them. It doesn’t matter so much what the crisis is; the issue is that you want to be supportive in the best way to help them through whatever they are going through. What are the best ways to do that?
Being there for them to talk to is one of the best ways you can be supportive. Make sure that they know that they can count on you to be their sounding board. Let them know that you will be there for them at any time of day and you don’t mind if they need to talk at midnight. That is what friends do for one another.
Commit to being there for the long haul. A lot of friends will walk by you through a struggling time for awhile but drift away if a crisis lingers. Don’t be that kind of friend. Be the kind of friend that will stand by a friend in need for however long it takes.
Take action. It is one thing to offer to help and another thing to jump right in and help. Take meals over when you know your friend has had an especially trying week. Offer to do specific tasks such as pick up their dry cleaning or do their grocery shopping. This is much better than a general offer to help.
If you can, get them away for a little while. You cannot make their problems disappear but you can help them to have a brief respite from them. Even going out to lunch or for a cup of coffee can make all of the difference in the world.
When you choose to be supportive of a friend going through a crisis, you are giving them a gift they will never forget having received.
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