If you have a friend, family member, or loved one who is going through a hard time, it is natural to want to help them through it. However, it is important you know how to handle it, as sometimes, what we say and do can actually make things worse. Everybody has their own inner world and unique experiences, so something that helped you may not necessarily help them. Below, we will discuss the dos and don’ts of helping somebody through a tough time.
Listen Without Judging Them
Listening to the person going through a hard time without judgement is important. If they feel like you are going to judge them, there’s every chance they will not want to open up, or that they won’t elaborate on what is going on. If you want to be there, you need to be able to offer a shoulder to cry on and a sympathetic ear without telling them that they are being silly, or have been foolish, or anything of the sort.
Make sure you are empathetic towards this person, and offer them encouragement and support on their journey to getting better. Although you shouldn’t tell them that ‘you know exactly how they feel’, as these things are different for everyone, you can tell them that you understand it must be hard for them.
Help To Find Resources
Helping to find resources for them could encourage them to get help. Perhaps you could research the types of alcoholics and figure out where they can get help if this is a problem they are experiencing. Looking at support, groups, and other things in the area that could help will be greatly appreciated.
Check In With Them Regularly
Make sure you don’t leave it too long before checking in with them. Send a text or a message, pop over for a cup of tea, even a quick phone call. It all makes a difference and shows them that somebody cares.
Don’t Offer Cliches That Don’t Really Help
There are many cliches that people use that may make them think they are helping, when in reality, they can making things worse. Telling them to be strong, not to cry, or to focus on the positives can all make them feel weak and ashamed of feeling sad. They will also likely lose trust in your relationship, feel like you don’t understand and become unwilling to open up to you.
Don’t Be Afraid To Ask If They Are Suicidal
Many people are put off asking if their loved one is suicidal, as they feel they might put the message in their head. However, this needs to stop being taboo. Simply asking them may help them to talk about it and they might feel relief. It may also help you to know the signs to look for if somebody is suicidal. They can include giving all of their things away, feeling and acting calmer compared to their previous behaviour, and more.
Don’t Neglect Yourself
You can’t pour from an empty cup, so take care of yourself while all of this is going on!
Speaking of taking care of yourself, self-care is so important to help us live her best lives. Check out this post for some awesome self-care ideas!