The relationships we have and carry throughout our lives are cornerstone foundations of who we are.
Our friends are more than just mere people we share happy hour with or watch Netflix next to. Friendship runs deep and wide, and shows its true colors in times of great need.
This year has been difficult for many people around the world, with millions of individuals going through uncertain times and experiencing hardship and pain.
If you're searching for ways to be supportive to a friend right now, take a gander at the following ways of how to be a true friend through hard times.
Make Time and Show Up
Life is busy – there never seems to be enough time in the day to do everything that we desire to do. Sometimes carving out time for others seems impossible with the endless to-do tasks on your list. "Maybe tomorrow," you think. But tomorrow comes, and once again you don't get around to making that call or sending that text.
We get it—communication is difficult, and showing up is hard, especially if you struggle yourself. But it's important to take in the love you receive from others and cultivate kindness in return.
Make time to meet up or even Facetime, even if it's for just a few minutes. Being present when it matters most is a great way of how to be a true friend through hard times.
Share but Don't Compare
Good listeners are hard to come by. If you're the more talkative friend, perhaps dial it back a bit and let your friend take the reins. Certain situations call for different responses, so it may be best to listen first and act later. Take the time to respond appropriately, to not offer advice or judgment if it's not asked for. Share in their joy and pain, but don't compare their situations to your own or to others outside of the conversation. Their feelings are valid, no matter the context.
People most often just want to be heard and to share their thoughts at their own pace. Be the friend that they know and need you to be.
A Kind Deed: Show You Care
Humans are very resilient. But that doesn't mean we have to go through things alone. A kind deed that shows how much you care for a friend is a nourishing gift.
For example, when the world falls down, cooking and eating at mealtimes may be the least of a person's worries. When you give a friend a meal, you should consider how to give food most thoughtfully. Express appreciation, love, and support with cuisine that fits their tastes and needs.
Most of all, remember that simply meeting a person where they are, with what they need, is the most wondrous gift you can give.