It can be tough to know when your friend is going though something hard if they don't tell you about their troubles. But if you can sense that something is going on with them, there are a few things you can do to help your friend going through a hard time.

  • Offer to hang out if you don't know how else you can help your friend, sometimes all they need is a distraction from their problems. A fun hang out to go bowling or to the movies can be all it takes to really cheer your friend up... even if it's only temporary.
  • Validate their feelings without offering advice (at least not right away). It also helps to be a spring board for them as well. Repeat what they're saying in a way to help them hear how they're feeling and allowing them to reflect on their feelings.
  • Ask how you can help if you're not sure what your friend really needs. Maybe they're experiencing a bout of depression and are struggling to leave the house. Perhaps running errands for them could be the best way to help them instead of sitting inside trying to get them to talk if they're not ready to yet.

Not every person deals with a hardship in the same way. So learning how your friends cope with their struggles can help you help them. Don't be afraid to ask!