Want to help a friend who’s struggling, but don’t know how? Your friend might be depressed, might have just lost a family member, might be going through a breakup, having a panic attack, etc.
Sometimes you can’t relate, or it’s just so bad, you don’t know what to say.
A good framework for replying to your friend’s troubles is:
- summarize what they’re going through, from your perspective
- validate how they feel about what they’re going through
- ask how you can help (or express that you know nothing will really help, but you want to be there for your friend through the pain)
Below, find specific phrases you can try to comfort your friend, even if you don’t know what to say.
What to say to a friend who’s struggling:
I hate that this happened to you.
This must be really hard to cope with.
I wish I could say something to make it better.
I feel awful imagining what you’re going through.
What’s the hardest part of the situation for you?
How are you holding up?
I’m impressed by how you’re handling this.
What you’re going through isn’t fair at all.
Your strength inspires me.
Do you have everything you need right now?
What could make this easier for you?
Tell me how I can help make things better.
I’m here, whatever you need.
I am available if you’d like to talk.
Give me a call whenever you want.
Your friend will appreciate any effort you put into helping them feel better. Just remember not to sacrifice your own mental wellbeing while trying to help.
It’s ok if nothing works; just expressing your concern and willingness to help can make a world of difference.
And by helping a friend who’s struggling, you might feel a little happier, too. That’s a big concept behind Supportiv – an online, anonymous place to help others while feeling better, yourself.
If you need support while supporting your friend, enter your thoughts and get matched with others who can help you!