We all go through times where we struggle emotionally, it can be because of something that has happened to us or our family. Or sometimes you can even find yourself struggling even though you can’t figure out the specific reason.
This can make us cry a lot, sleep far more than usual or just want to be alone all the time.
Do you know someone who may be going through something similar? Here is how to support your friend if you notice she is going through a tough time emotionally.
This is not your friend:
When you are having a hard time and struggling emotionally, it isn’t something that you can just, “snap out of” or stop because you want to. You need to understand that the version of your friend that’s struggling emotionally isn’t who your friend really is. If your friend is doing and saying things that they wouldn’t usually say or do, it’s because of what she is going through. Don’t be offended.
They will talk when they are ready:
Don’t push them to talk to you about what’s happening, because when they are ready to talk, they will come to you. It’s not easy for people to talk about their feelings, so give your friend time and space. Your friend needs to know that you will be there when they need you.
When your friend does decide that he/she is ready to talk, listen. And don’t tell your friend to not focus on how they feel, they can’t stop themselves because it’s all their brain wants to think about.
Your job isn’t to fix your friend:
Watching your friend struggle may be hard on you and you’ll feel the need to solve all your friend's problems.
You can’t fix your friend (as much as you want to) and you can’t take on her struggle for her either. All you can do is support your friend and let him/her know that you care and you’re not going anywhere.
Praise your friend:
Your friend is hearing a lot of negative voices in her head right now. Those voices maybe be telling her that she’s worthless, she’s not enough, she’s going to fail… plus a whole lot of ugly things. Build your friend up by telling her that you believe in her, tell her that she’s talented and special. Tell her that it will not last forever. She needs someone to believe in her because she can’t believe in herself. Be that voice of belief.
Be patient and be there for your friend because she will get back to being the fun and loving person that you know.
If you or someone you know needs support, you can contact Childline SA.
Childine SA: You can contact them on their 24/7 Toll-Free Helpline: 08 000 55 555 for help. Check out their website: http://www.childlinesa.org.za.