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Learn to Support and Comfort Others in College

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Supporting Hug

After receiving a bad grade on the school essay, after a failed exam or an unsuccessful job interview, we all might feel a bit down. When it happens to us, we expect someone to comfort us, or at least have an idea on how to distract ourselves from the bad experiences and focus on the good ones. However, it is much harder to see your friend suffer and be unable to provide some comfort. Many people are at a loss of what they should say or what to do, as sometimes people want to be left alone. This article will give you a few tips on how to deal with a sad friend and make them happy and cheerful again.

Time When to Step It

Let us analyze some of the times when your friend might want to feel some support and needs some comfort from you. There can be many situations, however, these are some general issues that can influence your friend’s mood.

Bad Experiences at School

What can ruin life the best? It is school. Since the education system revolves around grades and accomplishments, it is easy to feel stressed or uneasy if you cannot achieve what you strive for. Nowadays, the levels of anxiety and stress are the highest for college students, as usually they simultaneously need to balance multiple subjects, write essays and compose projects, juggle a social life and pay for their education. Bad experiences can happen all the time, from a bad grade to a failed class, from an unflattering remark of a teacher or a bossy attitude of a classmate. Step in if you see that your friend is struggling and offer your help.

Feeling Lonely

Films and television often give us unrealistic expectations about school life and college. A lot of times, when you enroll in a college, you will not have time to socialize a lot, your friends might be busy with their study programs, everyone will be too busy to party wildly as movies about college picture. Since there is so much that you need to get done, a lot of people will not be there for you, and you might feel lonely when you cannot find a true friend to socialize with. If you know of a friend that is struggling with socializing, you can always offer them to take a break from studying and get a meal or watch a movie together.

Family Problems

As a famous saying states, it is great to have a big loving family… In another town. Sure, sometimes families can be a bit too much. When you are in college, your family members might pester you with calls and visits, and provide little space for you to grow. In other cases, you will miss them and receive not enough calls, or just meaningless ones. Whatever the case, family is one of the most important things in your life, it’s that group of people that will be with you no matter what. If your friend has some family troubles of any kind, you can provide supporting words to them, by stating that a family is something you are born with, while friends are the family you choose.

General Unease

Fireplace and Tea

Sometimes your friend might feel uneasy physically or mentally because of all the changes that happen during freshman year of college. The drastic change of eating habits, the sleepless nights, the stress from essays and exams can all leave a footprint on the general health situation of your friend. So, be sure to provide some comfort and advice that they can use to feel better.

Practical Ways of Support

A lot of people struggle with what to say to alleviate the situation, or how to respond when your friend is telling you their troubles. Here are some practical ways that might help you deal with this kind of situation. If you do not find what you need, consult this article for even more tips.

Supporting Words

Sometimes, even uttering a few supporting words can change a person’s mind. We often feel like the words we can say are limited, because saying things like “I am proud of you” or “You did the best you could” or “Do not be so hard on yourself” or “You can do it” are very banal and cannot leave an impact, but that is not true. Actually hearing someone say this to you in a serious manner can make your mood instantly brighten and can give you the courage you need to make it through another day.

Provide Distraction

Watching Movies

Some people like to talk about their troubles, some on the other hand, will be forever grateful to you if you would stop talking with them about the failures they faced. So if you sense like the conversation of support is getting uncomfortable, or your friend does not give you the feedback you expected, you should change your tactic. Invite your friend to watch a movie at your place, or go to the mall. Have a meal together or go to the zoo. There are plenty of places that you can visit, where your friend can have a laugh and forget about their troubles. Make sure to select a place that does not have negative connotations in your friend’s mind.

Give Time and Space

When your friend does not want to listen to you, or go to other places, they might want to be left alone. Remember that coping with troubles by yourself might actually work for some people, and do not overstay your welcome. However, in all cases, you need to say that you will always be there for your friend, if they need you. Sometimes even this simple phrase can make someone feel a lot better.

Imagine a Reverse Situation

The tips provided above are quite general, but they work with most cases. However, if you have a very specific friend that does not want to be left alone, does not want to talk about the situation or go somewhere as a distraction, you still can use another tactic, and that is imagining a reverse situation. What would you like to do if you were in such a situation? What would your thoughts and feelings be? Analyze it well and provide some solutions. Your friend will certainly appreciate the effort.

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