rtt: being there

Friendships are truly tested when your friend goes through a traumatic or sad event in their life, whether its a break up or loss of a loved one.

And the truth is, its hard when your friend goes through something that you haven't experienced yet, and can't relate to or even imagine happening to you. It changes people. But that doesn't mean you should change they way you treat them, or act around them, or avoid them all together, and this is especially important when you don't know what you can do for them.

So how can you be there? Like really be there for them?
Here are some things that I've learned from my greatest supporters who have been there through my particular low parts of my life.
  • Listen. Don't offer advice, don't say anything. Just listen to what there saying, what they're really saying. If they ask for your advice then give it, but just listening to them when there sad, is being there. 
  • Sit with them in silence. There are moments when words don't need to be spoken. Just having your presence there is enough.
  • Make them laugh. Laughter is one of the biggest things that you can do for your friend. It alleviates the pain, and reminds you that maybe there's more to life than it seems.
  • Surprise them with thoughtful gifts. A card in the mail, or a stuffed animal. 
  • When people are mourning or hurt, they tend to push people away, or make it seem like their okay. When in reality, its the complete opposite, granted most people react differently to situations. But if this is the case, just texting them a "how are you?" or a "whats up?"... can mean the world.
  • Give them time, but don't expect them to be all gun-ho about hanging out or going out. Resist the urge to make them feel guilty for not hanging out with you, its not you. They need time alone, to adjust.
  • Pray for them. Just having them in your thoughts and sending them love makes a difference. 
Keep it simple, don't think that you have to be the world to them, or make them laugh at every moment or say the right thing. The littlest things can make the biggest impact. All I know is, when I look back, I remember every moment that someone really tried to make me feel better, or surprised me with a text or a letter. And those moments I cherish because it reminds me of how to be a better friend, because one day they will need me too.

Truly being supportive, doesn't mean you incessantly remind them of their pain or even to smother them with attention all the time. Give them time and space to heal, but don't leave so much so that their is a dent in the friendship. Its never too late to pick up the phone and call or text, or even write an email. Being there for others, may seem like a toughie, but its really much easier to be a friend than you think. Trust me they probably need it more than you can imagine.


Katie Pink said...

All really great advice, thanks for this post :)

Additionsstyle said...

Really great tips, thanks for sharing!
Everyday Inspired

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