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How to help friends going through hard times

Published on February 28, 2016 12:00 AM EST
How to help friends going through hard times

Everyone probably goes through times that are hard, tough, difficult or just plain impossible. Hopefully these times are far and few between. Can you do anything about these hard times? Should you do something to help that friend? What should you do to help that friend?

How to help friends going through hard times

Some tough times are avoidable especially if your friend is good at planning in advance. Perhaps they are good at putting a little money aside in case of emergency. Or, maybe they make plans with a Plan B and even a Plan C… just in case something goes wrong with Plan A. These options may help to keep life on an even keel. However, there is always the possibility of something going wrong that was never expected – something never dreamed would happen but now it has. What can your friend or you do about it?

How to help friends going through hard times


Then there are those who are always having difficulties.

They never have any extra cash to repair a flat tire or fix a broken washing machine or whatever other emergency occurs in their life. There are certainly folks who seem to be a magnet for troubles – something is always going wrong and they never know what to do or how to fix it. Can you help them? Should you help them?


You must decide when and how you can help your friends.

Do they need money? Are you willing and able to give them money, knowing you may never be repaid Will this solve their immediate problem? Will this help solve long-term problems? Is it the right thing to do? Are you an “enabler” – someone who means well, who solves the immediate crisis but will not make your friend address their own problems?


Depending on each individual situation you may find the answer of how to help your friend to be a tough question.

Sometimes all you can offer is to pray for them. Other times perhaps the answer is to loan them a little money, so long as it isn’t a loan here and another loan there on top of another loan. Perhaps the best way to help your friend is to have a heart-to-heart talk with them about the current problem; brainstorm solutions finding different options; help them make a list that will actually provide long-term solutions.

Sometimes the best thing you can do for your friend is to do nothing!

Let your friend face their crisis, perhaps hit rock bottom and fight their own way out of trouble. It is called tough love and sometimes that is the best gift you can give your friend.

How to help friends going through hard times
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