The truth is we all feel overwhelmed sometimes, we do have bad days, weeks and even months. Should you meet your close one in such a situation, here’s suggestions on how to help a friend in stress.
Stress is that feeling people resort to when things are rough, it could be emotional, financial, spiritual, academic, etc. And this could happen to anyone – young and old.
When it comes, people feel sad, intense and out of control. Could you imagine how people manage this feeling? Well they either try to contain it themselves or talk to friends. Now I’ll teach you how to not only contain it when you feel stressed, but how to help others as well.
How People React To Stress & Problems
Failure in an examination, a fight with a friend, an argument with a parent, or brwak-up in a relationship can all be upsetting. Many things that cause problems are beyond our control: parents divorcing, a family moving away, the death of someone close to us, or family financial problems. We all know someone who has broken up with a boyfriend or girlfriend, feared pregnancy, gotten in trouble with the law, or felt utterly deserted and alone.
There are three basic ways of reacting to the problem:
1. You can get angry – scream, shout, throw things, start a fight, or go on a rampage.
2. You can withdraw – take a drink, shut up in a room, take a pill, daydream, stop talking to everyone.
3. You can take charge – think out the problem, try to find a solution, ask for help, or work for change.
How to help a friend in stress
1. Try as much as you can to take the problem seriously. Even if the problem doesn’t seem really important to you, it may be important to the bearer. Things may be piling up. Show them you understand.
2. Don’t put them down. It doesn’t help to say, “Things will be better tomorrow” or “Keep your chin up!” Their problem is real to them.
3. Encourage them to talk to other people as well as to you. Offer to go along with them to talk with some adult friend they can trust.
4. Offer to join the person in some activity they normally enjoy. They need a chance to have some fun and get their mind cleared.
5. Let them know you care. They may try to put you off. Stay in touch. Reach out. Invite them to do things with you. Don’t force them to be cheerful. Stick with them.
Remember CLUES – Five Action Steps to Help a Stressed Person
C -Connect: Make contact. Reach out, talk to them. Notice their pain.
L -Listen: Take the time and really pay attention. You don’t have to have all the answers. Just listen.
U -Understand: Nod, pay attention, let them know you appreciate what they are going through.
E -Express Concern: Say that you care, you are worried, and you want to be helpful.
S -Seek Help: Tell them you want to go with them to talk to a third person, preferably an adult with experience and the ability to help.
In summary, don’t agree to be secretive, harsh or too mean. Enlarge the circle of support and work harder to be a good friend.