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How to calm a friend when he needs you

How to calm a friend when he needs you

June 21, 2024

Friendship is not just about going out together, sharing a sense of humor, having similar hobbies or making compliments about the clothes that the other wears. Having a friend consists, also, of being there in the bad moments .

And it is that a good part of the added value of having friends is that these people are the ones who, in bad times, can be more successful in encouraging and comforting the other: they have a common history, they have references that both know, and everything is more likely to know the emotional tone that is needed at that time. In other words, they can act as a psychological scalpel that helps to remove what causes discomfort.


In this article we will talk about just that: how to comfort and calm a friend who needs it , either because he is sad or because he experiences anxiety.

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Tips to calm a friend who goes through bad times

In the first place, we must bear in mind that both the causes of the malaise and the effects that this situation has produced can be very broad, and what we should do depends on the way in which we adapt to these circumstances. Mainly, those causes and effects of the possible discomfort are divided in two categories: sadness, with depressive or almost depressive symptoms on the one hand, and anxiety, on the other.


Episodes of sadness are characterized by the following:

  • Crying .
  • Search for relative solitude.
  • Pessimistic interpretation of the past, present and future .
  • They increase the ideas about oneself that undermine self-esteem.
  • Perception that the world is a cruel and ruthless place.

On the other hand, episodes of anxiety go hand in hand with the following:

  • Agitation and constant movement .
  • Search for a discrete place, something isolated or isolated.
  • Pessimistic interpretation about the future.
  • Increase compensatory behavior , like binge eating or tics or manias (touching your nose, hair ...).

How to calm a friend who feels sad

When it comes to calming a friend who go through a moment of sadness , follow these guidelines.


1. Do not banalices about the reason for your emotional pain

This is a mistake that is often made, and consists of trying to convince the other person that he really should not be so sad. The only defect of this is to make that person feel more isolated and that nobody understands him, because denying the feelings does not make any sense.

Instead, assume that even if you do not understand very well the cause of your pain, you are there for what you need .

2. Break the tuning isolation

Do not force the other person to go to a place where there are more people or more activity, even if it is to "encourage" her. The person who is sad is where he wants to be, and you have to respect that. But nevertheless, What we can do is break their emotional isolation (as long as you do not tell us otherwise) is to make it clear that you have us.


This will have to be communicated in a clear way but without the protagonism being captured. Something as simple as saying it literally will work, but for that you also have to prove it by arguing, for example, that the same happened in past crises. In any case, it does not have to be extended.

3. Offer unconditional company

If the other person is willing to have you by their side at that moment and you do not know very well why they are sad, you can ask them if they want to explain it to you, but in case you do not want to, do not insist. The important thing is not you, but that someone you want to help. Make clear that you are there to accompany your friend and try to help as much as possible , and not out of commitment or out of curiosity.


4. Seek physical contact, but not suddenly

If it is possible to physically touch the other person, it is positive to do so . However, it is not advisable to do it suddenly, since that would go against emotional attunement. It is better to do it when something has already progressed in the previous steps.

5. If you advise, do it as a friend, not as a technician

In cases where it is propitious to give advice, do not give them as a specialist in the subject would, ignoring the emotional state of the other person and transmitting instructions. In the moments when we are sad we do not obey those logics, because we lack courage and strength.

Instead, he advises as a friend would. That is to say, putting in focus your emotional state and how you want to feel , and offering avenues of help, not perfect and ideal solutions of what theory books dictate.


How to calm a friend with anxiety

When it comes to comforting a friend who is experiencing an anxiety situation, these are the guidelines to follow.

1. Act to focus

The attention of those who suffer anxiety must move from the concern for the future to the awareness of the present.

For this, if you are having a very intense crisis, it is convenient to even physically grab that person and try to establish eye contact with you , not only so that the activation of the body that produces the movement prevents it from focusing, but also so that it knows that there is someone who supports it. In cases of less intense anxiety, simple eye contact is established and you are asked to pay attention to what we are going to tell you.

2. Appeals to have a constructive attitude

Then, since we have already acted on his body causing him to stop moving and direct his eyes towards our eyes, we act on his ideas. What you have to say is that although you notice that the situation seems to overwhelm you, you can do something about it and, for that, you have to give up thinking all the time about catastrophic predictions .

3. Wait for him to calm down a little and draw up a plan of action

The previous steps will allow that friend to calm down a bit, but it will not eliminate his worries at the root. To do this, you have to give a "mental alternative" to your tendency to make predictions, which means that you have to provide a plan of action, even if it's a simple one .

This action plan must be composed of very specific actions and by deadlines, so that these milestones attract all the attention of that friend or friend and are disenchanted to think obsessively.

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4. Perform an exercise in imagination

Now that there is a plan to follow to solve the problem as much as possible, you can finish the job causing it to associate that sequence of actions to a positive mood .

To do this, talk about what will happen if you follow these guidelines faithfully and without missing deadlines: the situation will be much better than the present (and of course, the future that you imagined, but this is implicit and you should not remember it so do not think about that again). For example, if the anxiety is produced by an oral presentation in front of many people, imagine the classroom with your audience and your friend give a talk in a successful way, keeping the interest of the audience. It is important that it be a reasonable and credible situation.


10 Things a man will do only if he really loves you (June 2024).


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