We all have moments in our lives where we’re on an amazing high that we ride out until the end. However, of course, those highs can’t last forever. And when that time comes, it’ll be a steep descend. Don’t be scared, it’s just a part of life. Trust me, my life is best described as a roller coaster, so I can tell you all about the lows. All men-related, but, let’s ignore that for now and figure out how to help someone up without making them feel worse.
How to help someone up – 16 ways to make them feel better
When you’re feeling down, you obviously want people around you to help you rise up on your feet again. So, this means you’ll have to repay the favor when you’re friends are feeling low. I mean, what are friends for? We all fall down and sometimes we need a hand getting back on our feet. Here are 16 ways to figure how to help someone up.
#1 Be there until the end. If you’ve decided to be by your friend’s side while they’re going through a rough time, you have to make sure you stick by their side until the end. They need support and someone they can trust, and if they’ve chosen you, you have to honor it. [Read: How to be a good friend – The BFF code all friends must follow]
#2 Give them space when they need it. It’s important that you spend time with your friend and support them, but it’s also important that you give them some space. I know you may be worried for their well-being, however, no one likes to be suffocated. So, if they ask for space, respect it.
#3 Don’t give advice. Unless they ask for it. I mean, you aren’t the one going through the experience, so giving advice may not be in your *or their* best interest. It actually may make them feel judged or even more anxious/depressed about their situation. If they want to vent, let them. However, don’t go Dr. Phil on them.
#4 Avoid saying trigger words. There are some things that are going to act like triggers for them. For example, they may hear a song that’s playing on the radio that played at the wedding of their late husband. Sometimes, it’s going to be unavoidable. However, if you can find out what the triggers are, you can help avoid them. [Read: How to cheer someone up and make them feel awesome again]
#5 It’s not about you. Don’t try to make it about you if you want to help someone up. I’m not saying you’re selfish, however, sometimes people get sucked into that energy and start getting into the mind frame. Focus your attention on your friend and making them feel better.
#6 Help them find ways to release their emotions. Help them focus on things that make them feel better. For some people, it’s about music, kickboxing, cooking, writing – it can be whatever. Your goal is to find what it is and encourage them to use it as an outlet.
#7 Ask them what they need help with. So many times, we often assume we know what someone needs help with. However, this is actually pretty selfish of us. So, ask them what they want help with. It could be as easy as wanting a hug. Or they want a slice of pizza. Or they want to be alone. But if you don’t ask, you won’t know. [Read: 15 qualities of a good friend that sets them apart]
#8 Don’t minimize their feelings. I cannot stand when people try to minimize other people’s feelings. Just because you do not feel their emotions, does not make them less valid. So, do not minimize how they feel if you want to know how to help someone up. Tell them that they can take as much time as they want, and that although you don’t know how they’re feeling, you’re here for them.
#9 Ask them how they’re feeling. You know that they’re depressed, but how are they feeling? I know, it’s such a simple question, but so many of us forget to ask it. Don’t assume that you know what they’re feeling. Make sure to ask them daily about how they feel. It may also help them see what helps them feel better or what makes them feel worse. [Read: How to make a depressed person feel better without judging them]
#10 Do your own research. In your spare time, do some research on depression or anxiety. Do deeper research on their specific diseases, whether it’s depression or anxiety. See what the triggers are and what causes these diseases. You should get to know what you’re dealing with.
#11 Don’t enable unhealthy behavior. I know you think heading to a bar to have a couple drinks and relax is a good way to help someone up, but it’s not. Keep them away from alcohol and addictive habits. It’s so easy when you’re depressed to turn that one glass of wine into a bottle. Keep them clean, and if you do want to do something with them, make it a positive activity.
#12 Remind them of their strengths. They’re going through a rough patch at the moment, but that doesn’t mean they’ve lost the qualities that make them who they are. You have to remind them of who they are and what they represent. They may be in a dark hole right now, but you need to remind them of the light. [Read: How to be more positive and increase anyone’s quality of life]
#13 Talk about getting support. You’re not a psychologist, but if you are, then you’re perfectly qualified. But if not, you’re not qualified to counsel them. You can support them, for sure, however, you’re not trained in dealing with these types of psychological issues. So, talk to them about getting professional help.
#14 Don’t include yourself as a comparison. Don’t use yourself as a comparison. I know you think you’re helping by talking about how you suffered too, but this isn’t about you. This is about them, so keep your stories to yourself in the meantime. Comparing your pain to their pain is like some twisted competition.
#15 Be prepared for the worst. Well, that didn’t sound too positive. Listen, I’m not saying you have to be on 24/7 suicide watch. However, you should have the numbers of various services available just in case something happens. Maybe they are starting to have suicidal thoughts, so have the number of the suicide hotline available for them.
#16 Be patient. If they suffer from anxiety or depression, this isn’t just going to blow over after one counseling session and some antidepressants. This is an ongoing process where people who suffer from depression or anxiety will always be susceptible to it. So, don’t expect overnight success, you’ll have to be patient.
[Read: 22 ways to help a sad friend and make them feel better]
Now that you know how to help someone up, you can’t just turn a blind eye. If you’re a friend, you can be there for the good times, but you also have to stick through the bad times.
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