Whether if you are currently experiencing a tough or traumatic time in your life, or may have in your past, it is important to know that you are not alone. The people surrounding your life such as your friends in school, or at work, for example, are the ones who are there to provide their best effort towards your well-being. Or at least, the first ones to notice a sudden silence or disengagement.
Here are the 13 ways that friends can help during tough times.
1. They help build your trust
As you are able to explain what you have gone through, you gradually begin to gain their trust. Although you might not feel as if you have their full trust at the beginning, it eventually falls into place. You are able to trust that they will not tell anyone else what you have said to them if that is what you wish. A trusting and reliable friend is someone who you are able to go to when you feel as if you don't have anyone else.
2. They are willing to listen
Having a group of friends or one particular friend that you can go to is a wonderful outlet in the hopes of being heard and understood. True friends will always be the ones who are willing to listen at any time. This is so important because your friend, being a good listener, allows them to make sense of what you are trying to explain. They are also able to even hear and see another point of view that they might not have considered or thought of as you are expressing how you feel.
3. They can possibly relate to your situation
If they mention it or not, your friend could be going through a similar or even the exact same situation you are experiencing. By expressing your feelings and/or things you are up against, it can be the gateway for your friend to also reach out for advice or guidance that they need. You never know! One day down the road, you both can support one another through whatever you both are going through.
4. They can further strengthen your friendship
Engaging in conversation with a friend or friends that you trust is very fulfilling. As you become closer to one another, your friendship will strengthen. You begin to explore a different side to your connection that you might not have known existed. It now has gone from just a surface-level friendship to a deeper level. As this friendship advances, you now know that you can respectfully rely on this person even more for the best shoulder to lean on.
5. They can give their best advice for your benefit
As your friend first listens to you and processes the information you tell them, this provides them with the resources they need in hopes to give their best advice. A true friend shouldn't give you anything less than their best. The input that they give you should present you with ways in which you feel safe, happy, and confident.
6. They can refer you to someone if needed
Depending on how you are doing psychologically, it might raise concern. If your friend seems as if you will participate in self-harm due to your situation in the near future, they should feel comfortable in kindly suggesting for you to see a psychologist. This can be whether if you are in a minor or extreme case.
7. They are loyal to you
The definition of a loyal friend according to Dictionary.com is, "characterized by or showing faithfulness to commitments, vows, allegiance, obligations, etc." In this case, as you are experiencing a tough time in your life, you should feel confident in knowing that your friend is offering their best devotion to helping you, and nothing less.
8. Your friend(s) display non-judgemental qualities
It is necessary that during this tough time, that your friend(s) do not project judgemental qualities. You shouldn't be blamed for how you are feeling, or what you should have done or said in the given circumstance. Your friend(s) should understand and try to process how you are feeling, and give their best input, while not judging you.
9. They are interested in following up with you
A quality of a true friend is someone who doesn't just listen to your situation one time, and then throw you under the bus. They will continue to build you up, and not tear you down. They will be constantly eager to know how you are doing each day, whether you are progressing psychologically, or even getting out of the house and interacting with others in fun activities.
10. They will take care of you if needed
If during this time, you are feeling as if you are in need of extra nurturing, your friend should be able to provide that to you. In some circumstances, they will make sure to remind you that it is important to get enough sleep, that you are eating right, or even getting exercise to free your mind of what is troubling you.
11. They are willing to communicate with your family
If you have or may have experienced a tough time currently or in your past, wouldn't it feel nice to know that your friend(s) care enough to check in on how you are doing with your family? Especially if they are worried due to not hearing from you recently. It is important that a true quality friend will go the extra mile to make sure that you are OK, through other resources. This might also be with your friends at school or work.
12. They will want to be engaged
One of the best things about friends is that they want to be interacting with you through fun and enjoyable activities. What's more fun than going out to eat with a friend, going to the mall, a sporting event, or just having a fun and relaxing movie night? Your friends should find it necessary to help uplift you during this time of grief or unfortunate position you are in and help you feel as much joy as possible.
13. They will accept you as you are at your lowest point
Your friends won't think anything less of you during this tough time because of what you are going through. They see you as the same person they value and cherish each day. A quality of a true and loving friend is someone that will stand by your side during the obstacle you are now facing.