Unfortunately, hard times can come to greet us all. In fact, at some point, they will come to greet us all. Most of us know this as an inevitable fact of life. It’s something we often consider part of the natural rollercoaster of simply existing. However, that doesn’t lessen the impact that hard times can have. Most worthwhile people can be softened by hard times, and empathize with others when something similar hits them.

It could be that our friend is going through this right now. As a friend simply wants the best for said person, this can be hard to see. It can feel as though their despair can carry over to us as we can sympathize with them tremendously. The first instinct can almost be to help resolve whatever issue is going on through force alone, be that verbal advice or simply fixing the problem without their consent. But a bull-headed approach rarely works here, and can often make things worse. That’s why most of us know that a more subtle approach is required. If you’re confused, let us guide you:

Consider What Help They Might Need

Again, it can be tempting to act a little bull-headed when considering how to help our friends. We might dive in with advice, offers of help, forcing ourselves around them to ensure they are okay, among many other efforts. Sometimes, this is exceptional. Sometimes, it might not be. There’s every chance that a person might need some time alone to process things. This is why it’s important to check up on your friend, but not to force yourself in unless they ask for your help. First, it can pay to show them you are thinking of them completely. You can rely on Fig & Bloom to deliver beautiful flower arrangements that show your sympathy, which can help them know you are there in spirit.

If you can, open up a dialogue. This way you can see just what help they might need. For example, if they are so confused they have a hard time making sense, it could be that a stronger hand could be needed to ensure they are safe and together as they pass through something. For example, the loss of a close relative can lead to grief, and this can make some act in very unpredictable ways. They might thank you for the help afterwards. 

It’s important to consider how you might walk this tightrope of uncertainty. But remember – you don’t need to be perfect. Simply being there when you can and being a stable factor in the person’s life can, most of the time, be a fantastic help.

Assist Where Necessary

It might be that your friend is once again out of rehab, but in need of help getting back to sessions with their counselor. It could be that you offer to drive them to this twice a week. Assisting where necessary can be an action that speaks louder than words, and can be the vital remedy needed to help someone back on their feet. Allowing them to sleep on your sofa might be another alternative, but it’s important not to overextend yourself unless they are deeply close to you, such as a sibling or best friend, and you know that if the roles were reversed, they would offer the same within an instant.  

Consider Tough Love

This is a hard thing to suggest. But sometimes, it is absolutely necessary. From time to time, the best thing you can do to help someone is actually to stop helping them. Of course, this is a highly sensitive issue, and completely depends on the nature of the person. For example, someone continually relapsing into drink and drugs, or some other form of addiction, can be extremely testing. However, it’s important to know that this person has a disease, that sometimes they cannot help their actions, and that a symptom of the usage is overtaking them – not that they are a bad or immoral person. It can be hard to draw that line.

But if you’re continually helping someone out of bad relationships, you feel like you’re simply an emotional outlet for someone to dump all their issues on you, or that you’re simply becoming the person who is ‘expected’ to clean everything up, tough love could be essential. From you, this refusal could be the wake up call they need. Consider your own needs as well.

With this advice, we hope you’re better able to help your friend through this troubling time, and of course, we hope you get through it too.

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