Help a Struggling Friend

"Encouragement, empathy, and companionship are some raw materials that mold a positive change in someone's life. If you are in a position where you're asking yourself, "How do you make a positive change in someone's life?" – you're already on the right path. It means you care enough to take steps toward action.

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Before anything else, it's essential to approach the person in a spirit of love and kindness. This forms the backbone of the Christian faith and is a foundational premise. Be open-minded, patient, and ready to listen. Your words should be filled with understanding and acceptance rather than judgment.

Remember This...

Often, when people are going through a difficult moment, the hardest part isn't the situation itself but the feeling of loneliness and isolation. Providing genuine companionship can ease this. Let this person know that you are there for them—even if you only sit in silence—the gesture of companionship makes a difference.

Rebuilding confidence can be helpful for a person who is struggling. It's understandably difficult to see past one’s problems when everything appears bleak. Help them rediscover their strength and remember their past victories. It helps remind them that they have been capable and robust before and can be so again.

If the person in question has become less sociable due to their struggles, gently encourage them to reconnect with other friends and loved ones. The sentiment behind "I hope he can again be very sociable and outgoing" is profoundly understanding and compassionate. In this effort, consider their comfort—pressure can be counterproductive.


From a Christian perspective, invoking the power of prayer can make a significant impact. Encourage them to pray for strength and guidance if they share your beliefs. If comfortable, you may offer to pray with them or for them.

Inspiring the sentiment "How can he get beyond this and move forward with his life?" is a noble thought, but avoid pushing them too hard too soon. Instead, focus on small, achievable goals that foster a sense of progress and control.

Remember Their Strengths

Another way to help them move forward is to help them identify their strengths. Encourage them to identify and build upon them. Your guidance may lead to newfound or regained confidence.

While it is crucial to be supportive, it is equally vital to encourage professional help when necessary. Always remember that while we can lend a listening ear, there are certain areas where professionals can provide better support.

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Express your faith in their recovery and tell them you believe in them even in their darkest hours. This can be an essential booster of their self-esteem and motivation to change.

Redirecting their attention to more pleasant things can provide relief instead of focusing on their problem. This could be through shared hobbies, heartwarming stories, or comforting activities.

Encourage healthy lifestyle habits such as regular exercise, a balanced diet, and getting enough sleep. These aspects are often overlooked, though they are critical to mental health.

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Share inspirational stories or quotes to instigate positive thinking. Cultivate feelings of hope and provide reassurance that there's always a silver lining.

Being Present is a Big Deal

Being present is a powerful mode of support. Check-in regularly, not just to offer advice but to remind them that you're there for them.

Help them create a daily routine, including structured times for relaxation, creativity, self-care, and necessary tasks.

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Encourage them to journal their thoughts and feelings, as this can provide a sense of order and a better understanding of their emotions.

In the grander scheme of things, remind them that it is okay to ask for help. It does not signal weakness but a declaration of strength and willingness to improve.

Finally, the best outcome would be—for your friend to regain his happiness and understand that he has the strength to overcome life's trials. Remember, your job isn't to solve their problems but to walk alongside them as they find solutions.

Remember that everyone is fighting a battle we know nothing about. When we step forward to support another person in their time of need, we confirm that they are not alone and that their struggles are seen and acknowledged.


1. "The Power of Positivity: 4 Exercises for Your Brain." Psychology Today.

2. "Effectiveness of Companionship Therapy in Treating Depression: A Meta-           Analysis." American Journal of Psychiatry.

3. "Remembering Past Success: The Influence of Recalled Past Success on             Approach Behaviors." European Journal of Social Psychology.

4. "The power of prayer to deal with stress." Mayo Clinic.

5. "Small, achievable goals lead to big success." American Psychological             Association.

6. "The role of help-seeking attitudes and tendencies in predicting mental               health: A longitudinal study." Journal of Health Psychology.

7. "Health benefits of positive thinking." Mayo Clinic.

8. "Effect of supportive companionship on perioperative anxiety: a systematic       review and meta-analysis." British Journal of Anaesthesia.

9. "The Therapeutic Benefits of Writing." Forbes.

10. "Does Asking for Help Make You Seem Weak or Strong?" Psychology Today.

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