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It can be hard to know how to support your friends when they’re struggling. Even if you can relate to what they’re going through with a similar experience, it can still be a challenge to support them. If a friend is going through something relatably difficult, think about what you would’ve needed to hear at the time. Although different people need different things, this is a good rule of thumb. Here are a few helpful ways to support a friend while they’re going through something. 

  • Keep communication open.

There is no right or wrong way to support someone, but communication is key. Sometimes a friend doesn’t need you to say anything and just wants someone to listen. It’s okay to ask questions to better understand what they’re going through and how you can help.

  • Ask your friend what they need.

People often underestimate how important it is to simply ask, “do you want advice or do you just want me to listen?”

  • Be a good listener.

Being a good listener is sometimes all they need. Be sure to have an open mind, and do not invalidate their struggles. It can be hurtful to open up to someone, only to have them say “that’s not that bad” or “smile more.” In my own life, people have told me that “it’s natural to feel anxious all the time” or to “just exercise more and stay busy,” but those are not helpful responses to people who are struggling.

  • Understand if they need space.

At times it can feel like a struggling friend has pushed you away. It might be because they feel isolated or don’t want to bother their loved ones. This can be difficult, but make sure you stay by their side and let them know that you’re there for them.

  • Help them connect to additional resources.

During these times, it may be helpful to try and guide them to external resources, such as therapy or support groups. Overall, the key to being a supportive friend is listening and helping guide them through their challenging time. 

Useful Resources: 



988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline

AB Korker Foundation for Mental Health

SAMHSA’s National Helpline

Help for Mental Illnesses – NIMH

NAMI – National Alliance on Mental Illness

The Trevor Project

  • Follow-up and check in on them.

Make sure you stay by their side and let them know that you’re there for them. Just knowing that you’re there can make all the difference to a struggling friend.

It can definitely be difficult to show your friends you’re there for them, but all you can do is your best, and what matters is that you’re trying!


  • professional SOP writer

    This is such a beautiful article. There is a saying that “a friend in need is a friend indeed”. This saying matches this article perfectly. You must always be there for your friends and listening to problems is a great way to start.

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  • marx

    marx marx

    Reply Author

    I have just read the article “Being Part of a Friend’s Support System” on the website and I must say that I was impressed by the author’s insights and the overall quality of the piece.

    The article highlights the importance of being a supportive friend and outlines practical steps that one can take to be there for their friends in times of need. I appreciate the author’s focus on the importance of active listening, empathy, and creating a safe and non-judgmental space for friends to open up and share their feelings.

    The article also highlights the benefits of being a supportive friend, both for the person receiving the support and the person offering it. It emphasizes the importance of building strong, meaningful relationships with our friends and the positive impact that this can have on our overall well-being.

    Overall, “Being Part of a Friend’s Support System” is a well-written and insightful article that provides valuable advice and guidance for anyone looking to be a better friend and support system to those around them. I highly recommend this article to anyone interested in improving their relationships and fostering a culture of empathy and support in their social circles.

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