Worried About A Friend: How You Can Help

Whether at school or in college, sometimes we can notice changes in our friends which over time can cause us to worry.

Maybe they are a little quieter than usual in class.  Or you have noticed them looking distracted.  Whilst often it can be nothing more than a simple phase or maybe they are just a little tired after a few late nights, it could be there is something more serious that they need to talk about or, with their health.

The most important thing is to respect their privacy.  If they have trouble at home they may not want to talk about it, and that is their choice.  However the first thing you should do is quietly mention to them that you have noticed there is something wrong.  Wait to see how they react.  If they stay quiet then put your hand on their arm and reassure them that you are always available.  Let them know that you aren’t going to keep going on about it, but you will always listen.

If your friend feels ready to share then you need to be prepared just to listen.  Often talking a problem through can lift a lot of the pressure.  They may ask you for advice and on smaller issues like school stress or boyfriend troubles, you can give some best friend pep talks.  However on larger, more complicated problems at home or within themselves, the best advice is to always speak to an adult.  Either someone in school or at a local youth or support centre.  Offer to go with your friend and be there every step of the way.  It may be most appropriate for her to tell her parents how she feels.  If that is the case, offer her guidance and if she is really worried, maybe suggest she talks to your parents and gets their advice.  Do not give any advice fuelled by your own emotion, you could influence a decision that may not be taking into consideration the varying subtleties of the situation.

Occasionally it is health worries that cause our concern for friends.  If your pal is reluctant to talk you could get some advice from a doctor app.  Your friend may be showing symptoms of something serious such as diabetes or an eating disorder.  If this is the case, talk to her and let her know you are really worried.  Offer to go with her to the doctor and help her talk to an adult.  

We go through a lot of emotional and physical changes as we grow into young adults and it can be hard to admit these or share experiences with other people.  Whilst you cannot force anyone to take care of themselves or unload their worries, you can ensure you are always available and ready to listen and although privacy is vital, you may be able to get advice from your parents on how to help.

Girls need to stick together and then stay together when they are women.  Never judge and always support.  Those are the basic rules of friendship.