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Tips To Help A Friend When
Times Are Difficult

By Jade C. Pulman

When an individual you love is experiencing a difficult time, you can help. Keep your tone of voice appropriate, encourage them and remind them how much you love them. Your approach will make a difference.

Not Being Alright

People have unrealistic expectations of themselves when they are struggling. Remind them they are facing challenges, you will always support them, they are not any less of a person and that you love them.

Feeling Alone

Identify with your friend so they realize they are not alone. Remind them others have survived the same issues. Encourage them to join a support group when appropriate.

The Blame

Individuals often blame others or themselves for their situation. Initial anger is all right but feelings of blame will make the situation worse. Help them understand the answer is to find the solution.


Difficult times build strength and wisdom. Help them see they are growing as an individual. Do not be patronizing or glib. Simply tell them you see new strength in them.

Stepping Back

Your loved one may have lost perspective. Remind them to take a step back to enable them to see things differently.

Nothing is Forever

Remind them nothing lasts forever no matter how horrible the situation. This will help the regain their perspective and provide comfort.

Step by Step

Your loved one is probably confused, struggling and unable to make a decision. Remind them they can handle the issues one step at a time. This way, they can make progress.

The Open Door

Remind them when one door closes, another opens. It is important to be open to new solutions and opportunities.

Doing Your Best

Individuals under stress often place too much pressure on themselves. Remind them what is important is to do their best. They are human and their best will always be good enough.

Tougher Times

Your loved one may be underestimating their strengths. Remind them they have survived tougher situations and have the strength to get through this as well.

The Bravery

The may be scared and feel weak. Remind them they are brave and courage does not mean they will not be afraid. Courage is continuing despite the fear.

The Good in Each Day

Difficulties often bring negativity. This can be anything from the loss of a pet to stem cell hair loss. A happy attitude will not penetrate depression or extremely difficult circumstances. Ask about anything good in their life and talk of their achievements. This will bring a little bit of hope.

The Gains

There is an upside to every difficult situation. This may be good friends, developing patience or strength or learning to solve problems. Help them find the silver lining.

The Fault

Struggles can make an individual believe everything is their fault. Remind them it is not their fault and they are not being punished. Validating their efforts can make a difference. When an individual struggles, they can become blind to their own hard work. Praise can assist them in feeling appreciated.

Focusing on the Present

Worrying about the past or the future makes difficult times even harder. People add to their misery by thinking about hard times or when they have failed. This causes additional problems. Remind them to concentrate on now because this is where they have control.

The World will Not End

Their problem will not end the world. Remind them they will survive and find a way to cope with their issues.

Being Kind

Hard times lead to frustration and difficulties escaping the issue. Remind your loved one kindness is important. Encourage them to step back from the issue and spend time with friends. This will help relieve the stress.

Being There

Let your loved one know you will be there for them, listen to them and wipe away their tears. This can help them cope and will make a tremendous difference.

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