Trying to support a friend that's having a rough time but don't really know what to say? Sometimes it's hard to think of the right thing to say when we are scared of saying the wrong thing and possibly making things worse. So we decided to give you a few suggestions so you can be there for your friend when they need you.
Here are some things you should say and some things you should definitely try to avoid! The most important thing to do is just LISTEN. You should also just try your best to understand their point of view and don't judge them. Everyone deals with their emotions differently so it's important to note that these suggestions may not be helpful for everyone, but we think they will apply to a majority of people. If you get really stuck, sometimes it's a good idea to just ask them how you can help.
1. Like we said earlier, it is VERY important to just LISTEN - just be there for your friend in any way you can (in person, on the phone, by text etc.) and just let them talk about how they're feeling. Try not to interrupt them, but make sure you still let them know that you're paying attention to what they're saying.
2. Make them LAUGH- show your friend a funny picture or video, or maybe you could even tell them a funny story or remind them of a funny moment you had together recently.
3. Let them know how much you CARE- just by being there for your friend and checking up on them regularly, it will really show them how much you care! This also leads to our next point...
4. Let them know that they're NOT ALONE- this is also very important. Just be there for them and maybe you could even show them Bloom.com so they know that there are many others who struggle with their mental health too.
DON'T: 1. NEVER say "it could be worse" or "other people have it worse off than you" - yes, maybe things could be worse, or maybe other people do have it worse off, but that doesn't mean that your friend's feelings are not valid. We all have different levels of sensitivity, and sometimes something little could make someone feel as bad as someone else would feel if something big happened.
2. Share your own bad news- this is NEVER an okay thing to do. Your friend came to you because they were having a bad day, so the conversation shouldn't be about YOU, it should be about your friend. Your friend does not need to feel overwhelmed by your problems too when they are already trying to deal with their own.
3. Say "you will get over it" - yes, maybe they will.. But your friend doesn't feel like that in the moment and by saying that you're invalidating their emotions.
4. Tell them that they're OVERREACTING- even if deep down you feel like they are, DO NOT tell them that. Like I said earlier, we all feel our emotions differently so sometimes something may seem like a little problem to you but it could be a big deal for someone else.
We hope that these Dos and Don'ts were helpful! We know it can be pretty stressful for you too when your friend is feeling bad, so hopefully this will make it a little easier the next time your friend comes to you and wants to talk about their emotions. Just always remember that if you don't know what to do, ASK them. Always be ready to listen, too! If you still don't know what to do, maybe show them Bloom.com and direct them to our Mood Centre or use one of the resources on our Get Help page.
Bad days are awful for everyone, so be an awesome human and make your friend's bad day into a good one! We're over here cheering you on! (: