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how to support a friend

Sometimes your friends need extra support from you. But, your friend likely won’t tell you when she needs support because she may not realize it herself. You can’t solve her problems, but you can be around to listen or offer words of encouragement. Being present and checking in on her during tough times will make her feel loved and supported.

Keep an eye out for these signs that a friend may need extra support:

1.  Her tone is negative.

If your friend is putting out more negativity than usual, it’s a sign she may need extra support. This negativity could signify several things. She could feel stuck, down or like nothing is going the way it should. She could be experiencing trouble at work or home that’s spilling over into other areas of her life.

It’s a red flag when your upbeat friend starts taking on a negative tone. Be mindful to not feed the negativity, but to offer positive insight instead. And, don’t be shy to ask her if something is bothering her. Sometimes it takes someone bringing our behavior to our attention to realize something is bothering us.

2.  She reaches out less often.

If a friend reaches out to you less than before, she could be experiencing a tough time. We tend to not make time for things that make us happy when life gets heavy. Whether it’s because you have no extra time or because you just don’t feel up to activities, it’s easy to isolate yourself.

I was once in a job that took all of my time, happiness and sanity. My weekly happy hours with girlfriends turned into monthly happy hours, if that. But, spending time with my friends would have helped me feel like myself when I felt like I was spiraling. When you notice a friend is reaching out less often, bridge the gap. Invite her to coffee, to go shopping or get a workout in. She needs that time with you more than she knows.

3.  She mentions stress and anxiety.

If a friend mentions she’s stressed or anxious, she’ll need extra support from you. The bright side to this situation is that she blatantly told you that she’s feeling overwhelmed. So, you don’t have to probe her to get answers. Make it a point to check in on her when you know she’s experiencing stress. Ask for updates, lend a listening ear and ask if there’s a way you can help. It will make her feel better simply knowing you’re aware of her situation and care.

4.  She has recently experienced a life change.

Life changes are a good sign that a friend could use some extra love. Maybe your friend changed jobs, had a death in the family, got divorced or married, relocated to a new city or had a baby. All of these experiences require time to adapt, and each comes with a slew of emotions. If your friend experiences a life change, chat with her often about how she’s feeling. Let her know you’re there to talk, and she’s not alone. Call or text her just to say hi and see how things are going.

A friend may not always tell you when she needs extra support. But, you can put the pieces together by being mindful of her mood, words and situation. It can be difficult finding the right words to say when a friend is going through a hard time. But, staying quiet won’t help her. It’s not about saying the perfect words. It’s about being present and extending love in any way you can. The love and support of a true friend can make even the hardest experience a little more manageable.


 

Published by

Lauren Hamilton

Lauren Hamilton is the founder of www.modwife.co, a lifestyle and relationship blog offering relationship advice and encouraging women to be the happiest, most confident version of themselves through positivity and self-love. She's also a freelance writer and communications strategist. Follow her on Instagram or Twitter, and check out some of her accomplishments on her portfolio.

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