Being there for someone is never an easy task, let alone if it’s someone you care about deeply. There are times when being there for someone becomes even more challenging. Here are some ways to be there for someone you care about that can help ease their mind.
What Does It Mean to Be There for Someone?
What does that mean when someone says, “I’m here for you”?
It’s a statement we hear, but we rarely stop to think about what it means. When someone tells us they’re there for us, they communicate their willingness to support us in whatever way they can. It’s a way to let the other person know that their needs and feelings matter — that you care enough about them to make time and space in your life for them.
Being there for someone doesn’t mean you have to drop everything and run when they need help. Nor does it mean that you have to be available at all hours of the day or night. Being there for someone means listening to what they have to say without judgment, offering advice when asked (or if you feel like it), and responding with kindness regardless of how the situation pans out.
Why Is Being There for Someone Important?
Being there for someone is important because it shows that you care about them. It’s a sign of friendship, respect, and love. When you’re there for someone, they know they can count on you no matter what’s going on in their life.
It means being available to listen to them when they need to talk, supporting them when they’re having a hard time, helping them through good and bad times, and being present with them.
Being there for someone doesn’t mean you have to solve all their problems or improve everything. Sometimes just being there is all they need from you. You don’t have to fix anything or try to solve things yourself — just let the other person talk about what’s going on in their life and be supportive as best as possible.
9 Ways to Be There for Someone
– Listen without judgment. Instead of offering advice or making comparisons, listen. Let the person know they can talk freely about their feelings and experiences without fear of judgment or criticism.
– Avoid saying “I understand” unless you understand what they are going through — no one can truly understand another person’s experience until they go through it themselves. Just letting someone know that you care about them and want to help is enough at this time.
– Ask how you can help. Sometimes people need someone else to offer a hand — even if it’s just going out for coffee or something else simple and easy. But if there are more significant needs, ask directly about those, too, so you can do what you can (and nothing more).
– Offer support without interfering with the other person’s choices. For example, if your friend is having trouble deciding whether to go on a date with someone, don’t advise unless she asks for it.
Instead of telling her what to do, listen carefully and tell her how important she is to you by saying things like “I’m here if you need me” or “You’re strong enough to make this decision on your own.”
– Don’t judge or criticize. If your friend seems to be over his head, remember that he probably knows more about his situation than you do. Even if there is something he could do differently, don’t tell him that — it’ll just make him feel worse and more frustrated with himself or his situation.
– Be there for them in person if possible. It’s easier for people to open up when they can see and touch each other — especially if they’re worried about looking weak or vulnerable in front of others.
– Help them organize things in their personal life that may be overwhelming during an emotional time like death — paying bills, cleaning out a closet full of clothes for someone who has died, etc.
– Ask if there’s anything specific you can do to help them right now or if there’s anything specific they need from you right now (like time alone or space). Don’t assume that just because you’re there, everything will be okay — sometimes, just having someone else in the room makes all the difference in the world.
– Encourage them to seek professional help if they need it. There’s no shame in seeing a therapist if you’re having trouble coping with stress or depression, and it can be beneficial for your friend or loved one if you encourage them to seek professional help.
Related Read: How to Help Someone Calm Down?
The most important thing you can do for yourself or someone struggling with mental health is to listen. And this doesn’t always mean listening to what they want to tell you. It means listening to them when they want you there, when they want you to go away, and even when they tell you everything is okay.
Sometimes the best way to be there for someone is to be yourself. Be empathetic, and don’t force anything. Be there as much as possible and let them know it’s okay before they’re ready to say it.