My Best Friend is Having a Hard Time
My best friend has trouble handling his emotions. He fights with his parents and siblings frequently. When this happens, he calls me for advice and sometimes I wind up taking their side because I know my friend. He gets mad and hangs up on me sometimes and other times he listens to my advice. My friend also self-harms. He told me he was diagnosed with anxiety and depression, but I have a feeling it runs deeper than that. Every time he argues with someone, he cries and hurts himself even if it’s an argument about the smallest things. We had a huge fight recently and he broke down and shut me out of his life. I’m really scared for him. I wish there was more I could do to help him. His behavior is very dangerous. Although he sees a therapist regularly, it doesn’t seem like it’s working.
- Feeling concerned about the well-being of your best friend can make you feel sad and worried. You are kind and smart for caring when your friend needs you the most.
- Keep trying to help your friend no matter what. Your kind actions show true friendship. Tell him how concerned you are and that you genuinely want to be there for him. He may feel misunderstood. Understanding him may make life easier for him. Ask him questions in a respectful manner without prying too much. Try hard to listen and figure out what he wants to communicate.
- Question how well you know your friend. Since he hangs up on you and gets angry with other people often maybe no one knows him as well as they believe. In your next interactions try not to make assumptions about how he feels or what his words or actions mean. Think about how it feels when someone assumes they understand you when they may not. Put yourself in his shoes in an effort to understand him better.
- Head to the Teen Central website (and/or tell your friend to do so) and click the Learn tab then anxiety or depression to learn more about your friend’s problems. Knowledge is power.
- Tell your friend he can get help on the Teen Central website himself. He can click the Help tab then call one of the hotlines to talk to someone about his issues.
- Give your friend kind words and encouragement. Tell him to repeat positive affirmations to himself or write his feelings down in a journal each day.
- Continue to be aware of your friend’s behavior without making him uncomfortable. Be there for him when he needs you. Show him that the world can be positive if he lets it.
- Your friend can try using creativity to express his emotions in a positive way. Some fun activities are drawing, playing a musical instrument or listening to music.
- Your friend may be able to communicate better if he tries writing. Some people naturally communicate more clearly and effectively this way.
- Let your friend know how important his life is to you and others.
- Maybe your friend needs to balance his emotions. Since he has trouble handling his emotions he may be able to help himself by exercising his mind by doing analytical activities like Sudoku or math.
- You can try spending some positive time with him by volunteering together. Some great organizations to consider are Habitat for Humanity, Meals on Wheels and The American Red Cross. Volunteering can be fun and meaningful.
- You can encourage your friend to be more spiritual with activities like yoga, meditation and prayer. Head to the Teen Central website and click the Learn tab then Spirituality to learn more.
- How else can you learn to better understand your best friend so you can figure out why he becomes upset so easily?
- In what ways could your friend’s present state of mind affect his future for better or worse?
- How can you convince your friend to be positive for his own well-being and your own?