Talking To A Friend Who Needs Help
Friends come and go all throughout the different stages of your life. But the ones that stick around, are those that we cherish the most. They stick around for a reason because we want them to. At any moment you could stop being friends with anyone in your close circle. But, we allow them into our lives because they mean something to us. And yet, we also know that we’re not family.
There is a line that you don’t cross with friends. If we do, it throws our whole relationship up in the air, despite knowing each other for many years. One piece of that line comprises of the notion of help. It's good to help friends but when their privacy becomes a victim of our help, that’s when things get a bit tense. What should you do for a friend that is in need of help but it's in an area of their lives that you wouldn’t normally touch?
A rough relationship patch
One of the areas all friends just know not to go into is personal intimate relationships. Topics like marriage, children, and sexuality is something that most friends will avoid talking about because it's a personal business. However, when you can see that something is deeply troubling or worrying about your friend, sometimes you have to step in. How should you approach the issue of divorce and child custody battles for example?
Well, bringing up the conversation about what kind of laws there are in place and whether or not they are just is a good idea. It's more of a philosophical debate than a direct stab at the issue in their life. Slowly, you may find that your friend opens up about the trouble he or she is having and what laws specifically are causing them angst. Allowing them to blow off some steam and thinking about different solutions to their conundrums is very therapeutic for their mental health. No doubt you’ll also become closer.
Something taking hold
Notice that your friend’s eyes have sunken a little? Perhaps his or her face is looking abnormally thin? Are they a little tense and overly alert? It could be a substance abuse problem. If you notice any small spots on their arm, chances are they are using needles. If you realize they haven’t slept in a while and they don’t have an appetite anymore, it could be some kind of drug-related concern.
Speak to them about coping mechanisms and see what kind of things they’re doing. People will often talk to their friends about how they cope but not usually, what they’re coping for. That’s why you should subtly inform them about an outpatient drug rehab program which allows them to stay free and live their normal life but gives them 3 to 4 partial days of treatment. The professional doctors and therapists will show them better coping techniques and also give them a place to talk about very sensitive issues.
A friend who needs help shouldn’t be approached willy nilly. You never want to approach them so candidly. Instead, bring up issues you suspect they might have, in a more passive manner to get them to open up.