Discussing what’s going on in your personal life isn’t always easy, even for people who have known each other for years. Life gets busy for all of us, and oftentimes someone who’s struggling may not even realize they need help.
That’s where friends come in. As someone who can look at your friend from an outsider’s perspective, you can help them realize if they’ve begun to change and need to get help. Sometimes it may feel difficult to do that, so it’s important to know what you can look for in your friend to realize they’re struggling.
1. Keep up With Them Regularly
It’s common for people who are friends and family to communicate with each other on an almost daily basis. Whether you text all the time with your friend or catch up every couple of days, you should know what’s regular communication for them. Although sometimes people may go through periods of time not wanting to be socially connected, it’s a warning side if you feel your friend completely stepping away.
They may stop texting and calling all at once, which would be easier to recognize. Most of the time, people withdraw from friends slowly. Texts or phone calls will slow to a complete halt. They may not answer communication at all. Try to figure out what to say when you get in contact with them so there’s no chance you’ll come across as confrontational. That will only drive them further away. .
2. Watch for Changes in Their Mood
Mood swings can be attributed to more than just hormones, especially in young people. Depression and anxiety are just some of the conditions that can cause people to react with violent outbursts of anger or sudden waves of crying.
Your friend may have smaller mood changes, like not laughing at something they’d usually find funny. Keep an eye on their disposition and frequently offer a listening ear for anything they may need to get off their chest.
3. Monitor Their Energy Levels
When someone is struggling with something, their energy levels spike at different times. At first, it can look like a positive thing. They might have more energy during work and become more productive.
It could also mean they wake up in the middle of the night and can never go back to sleep, or that they need to nap frequently during the day. This can stem from a number of things, so if your friend seems to be acting strangely or complains about their energy levels, be gentle and ask if there’s anything they want to talk about.
4. Be a Good Friend
People who are struggling with a personal and private challenge will need friends by their side more than ever. Don’t be afraid to ask your friend if everything’s OK, and if need be, gently push for them to talk about what’s on their mind if they try to explain away something that seems wrong. Ultimately, they have to be the one to want to get help, but letting them know you’ll be by their side no matter what is a great first step in getting them pointed in the right direction.
It can be hard to remember to check in on your friends. As our responsibilities increase, we often assume we’re too busy to sit down and talk with those we care about, or things could even seem too personal to share sometimes. However, it’s important to keep reaching out to those you care about and check in on them. It can really make a difference in their life, and afterward, they may even need you by their side to reach out to others who can help them further. Keep your friends on your priority list even as you’re hitting those personal 2019 #goalz.
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