How to help a friend in need

How to help a friend in need

by Dr Tim Sharp (aka Dr Happy)

Although I’m often asked how to manage or what treatments are best for different types of problems…

…I’m just as often asked how to help someone else who’s experiencing the problem.

Family members, friends and colleagues typically care about people they know who’re suffering BUT just as typically don’t know what they can do to help.

So this week I thought I’d offer some tips for helping someone you know who’s in need of a helping hand…

  • to begin with, be aware that we can’t really help someone unless they want to be helped. If they’re not ready, they’re not ready. But we can still let them know that we love and care for them; and that if or when they are ready, we’ll be waiting and available
  • if someone is ready to be helped, the best place to start is just by listening. Seek first to understand, and only then to assist or recommend
  • when listening, try not to judge or to make assumptions
  • once you feel you do understand what’s going on, and if it’s become clear the person does need some help, try to encourage them to generate ideas for taking constructive action (if they come up with solutions on their own they’ll be far more likely to follow through with them compared to if or when someone else suggests what to do)
  • if it’s beyond your area of expertise, don’t worry, you don’t need to be an expert, but just guide them towards useful resources, websites or appropriate professionals
  • once some form of positive action plan has been arrived at, ensure all are clear about what’s been agreed to and then follow up after an appropriate period of time. Check in a day or a week later and if necessary, repeat the process again

…So that’s today’s mailing. Take some time to reflect upon the message and how it might apply to you. Check out, also, the links below for some additional readings and resources.

I hope it helps you enjoy some more happiness. Until next time…

Keep well & keep smiling
Tim Sharp (aka Dr Happy)