My friend hasn’t been doing great for awhile and has been having some pretty bad days recently. I’ve asked him to tell me why and how I can help if I can at all but he won’t tell me why and says I can’t help. I don’t know what to do. He’s quite literally on the other side of the world so it’s not like I can just go hug him or take him some place, you know? I keep telling him not to look back at yesterday and to look forward to tomorrow because you don’t what will happen and to go into the new day with a more positive outlook but I definitely don’t think that’s helping. I just suggested we do something together whenever he’s free to help get his mind off of things and told him i’d listen whenever he’s ready to talk but I feel like I could be doing more. I just don’t know what to say? He’s everything to me and the only thing I want to do is make sure he’s happy and I can’t even do that. We’ve always been there for each other during rough times and have been well, but I don’t know what to say now… I feel like me just constantly being kind to him is annoying and starting to pester him but I can’t just not help him. I don’t even know what to talk about without making it awkward now. I don’t want to seem like i’m brushing off his problems but I don’t want him to have to constantly be thinking of how shitty life might be when he’s talking to me. I just want to support him. I need to know how I can
Sometimes, self-disclosure can encourage someone to open up and share feelings. In other words, talking about how you are feeling, might diminish his reluctance to talk about what he is dealing with. It might not make any difference at all, but it’s worth a try.
Ask him for advice. There is fulfillment in helping others, therefore, if he is helping you, he’s also helping himself. Find things to laugh about. Laughter helps the body and mind. It even improves cognition.
People often look at the past and assume the future will be very similar. At the same time, there is fear of what might happen in the future. If you can get him to take a break from thinking about the past and worrying about the future, that would be helpful.
You’ve already done the right thing by asking him how you can help. Now, it’s up to him. He’s very fortunate to have you as a friend.
Ahh, he asks how i’m feeling a bit but i’m reluctant to say whenever i’m feeling down because he’s said not to use him as a pillar of support because of his mental instability in the past. I’d feel guilty and like I was using him if I talked to him about anything serious. I’m happy just trying to get him happy for now
So, he doesn’t want to talk about himself and doesn’t trust himself to be your support. He must be lonely. Self-disclosure doesn’t always have to be about personal problems. You can talk about physical fitness, places to visit, what you hope to discover in a significant other, stuff like that.
If you feel as though you could cope with his episodes of mental instability, let him know. If he feels that you are willing to face those episodes, and not hold them against him, he may be far less likely to have such episodes.
What you are doing now may be the best possible way of handling the situation, simply being a patient and compassionate presence. Ideally, good friends willingly allow each other to be “used” for emotional support, with each person able to both give and receive it. That kind of friendship takes time and nurturing of trust to develop.
Let me know how it’s going.
You are a great friend. You are doing all the things that you can in order to see him happy. The only thing I would say is that it is his choice. You put the ball into his court now it is his opportunity to receive the kind of help you are offering. You are a caring friend and oh so supportive. You are wonderful. I know it might cause great pain to see your friend suffering. I believe in you. You are strong and beautiful <3 warmly, dot
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