20 ways we can be there for someone

Apr 15, 2022 | Blog, Supporting Others

There are many different ways we can support someone who is struggling. Here are some ways we can support those in our lives that may be going through a hard time.


Support can be


  • talking through problems
  • giving time to listen
  • acknowledging and validating their struggles


  • Cooking a meal
  • Picking up the kids
  • Doing the laundry/dishes
  • Scheduling/driving them to appointments
  • Doing their grocery shopping


It can look like


1. Taking an interest in what’s happening in their life (getting curious about what’s going on for them)
2. Reaching out and asking thoughtful questions:
  • “How are you, really?”
  • “What has ____been like for you?”
  • “How can I help lighten the load while you process what you’re going through?”
  • “What colour is your heart today?”
  • “Do you think you might need additional support to get you through this?”
  • “Is it okay if I take the initiative to do ______ for you while you process everything that’s happening?”
  •  “What story are you telling yourself right now?”
  •  “How can I better show up for you moving forward?”
  •  “What would be most helpful for you right now?”


3. Physical assistance or help with the things they are struggling with


  • E.g. offering to help out around the house: “I know you’ve been through a lot recently and I want to make sure you’re not alone during this period – want me to bring some dinner over later this week and we can talk more about things?”


4. Believing and validating their struggle (“It makes sense that you’re feeling this way”)


5. Sitting with them/keeping them company (listening and allowing them to feel whatever it is they’re feeling — it’s okay not to be okay)


6. Having those difficult conversations (in person not over text or email)


7. Giving them space to be alone (if that is what they have requested)


8. Having a cuppa together


9. A caring text:


  • “I was thinking of you today and wanted to remind you how much you mean to me.”
  •  “Hey there’s no need to respond to this, I just wanted to let you know that I understand that keeping in touch is hard right now and I want you to know that you’re still a valuable friend to me.”
  • “I love you and I hope you’re okay.”


10. Providing company when they’re going new places/to appointments


11. Financial advice + payments


12. Scheduling in quality, intentional time together (“can I come and spend some time with you, just the two of us?”)


13. Doing research and checking resources on their behalf 


14. A hug


15. Offering to be a sounding board


16. Continuing to invite them to things


17. Asking about something you know they’re interested in (this may help spark a bigger conversation)


18. Sending a meme or gif (this may seem small but it will remind them they’re not alone and may lead to a deeper conversation)


19. Leaving a loving post it note on their door etc


20. “Open when” letters


Support certainly doesn’t have to look just one way to be helpful and when in doubt ask the person what they need. It is important that we help others in ways that are actually helpful for THEM and not just in ways that make us feel like a *good person.*


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