How to help a friend?

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First, set aside time to listen to him. It may be a situation in which you can provide no advice or assistance of any kind, but just listening to him and showing that you care can be extremely helpful. I can’t emphasize enough the value of giving your time to listen to a friend in need.

Secondly, realize your own needs as you try to help your friend with his. If you are not taking care of yourself both physically and emotionally, you will not be able to take care of him as effectively. It is nearly impossible to immerse yourself in your friend’s problems—especially if they’re long-term ones—without experiencing sadness or worry yourself; so, if you need to take a break from the situation or if you need to find your own ways to relieve your stress (be it through exercise at the gym, trips to get frozen yogurt or time in the chapel), make sure you set aside time to do that. Taking time for yourself will benefit your friend in need since it will allow you to be a better friend.

Thirdly, always remember that if your friend’s life or wellbeing is endangered, you should show friendship by helping your friend find the assistance he needs.

Finally, help him keep a proper perspective on life; it is all too easy to become ensnared in specific problems, forgetting the bigger picture.

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