Dear Miss Molly,
I have a really good friend who’s going through a tough time right now. I want to be there for them, but at the same time don’t want to overstep boundaries. How do I show my support without being annoying?
Dear Concerned Friend,
I’m sorry to hear that your friend in struggling. College can prove to be a very stressful time in a young person’s life with the pressure of difficult courses, searching for jobs after graduation and evolving as an adult all at the same time.
When dealing with someone struggling mentally, it’s vitally important to be as supportive as possible. People going through difficult times rely on the love of friends and family to help them get through. Do not worry about being annoying, just make sure you approach the situation in the right manner. If your friend shared their worries with you, they want you to know, so don’t feel awkward checking in with them once in awhile to see how they’re feeling.
While you should be supportive and check in with them, don’t make their struggles the topic of every conversation. Act as normal as possible, but don’t forget what they’re going through. Try to do a nice random act of kindness for them once a week. Grab their favorite drink from Starbucks or send them a funny card or a text message, anything to show them that you’re there. You don’t even have to mention anything about what they’ve told you, but simply showing them you’re there will make them feel comforted.
One thing you can do without your friend ever knowing is pray. I know not everyone is religious, but prayer can prove to be one of the most powerful things in tough times. God is always there and understanding, no matter what the situation.
Be very conscious of your friend’s behavior, and if you’re noticing anything concerning do not be afraid to speak up to them or get them professional help. Any type of mental struggle is not a joking matter and should be taken very seriously.
Sometimes a good friend is all somebody needs to overcome any type of internal conflict. Your concern is a step in the right direction. I hope your friend is able to get through this tough time.