This is about as unfussy and uncomplicated a post as we’ve ever run in this Geeks Vs Loneliness spot on the site. If you’re not familiar with Geeks Vs Loneliness, it’s the bit of the site where we just stop for a minute and try and talk about challenges facing some of us, hopefully coming up with an idea or two to help. No miracle cures, just human beings who want to help other human beings. Hopefully something that’ll never get old fashioned.
This time, though, we’re talking about problems that you don’t necessarily face yourself, but know someone who does. Be it a friend or family member who may be going through tough times, physical illness, mental health challenges, or a mixture of those and more. How, then, can you be a good friend?
Simple answer to this one: by being there.
Sometimes, it can be tricky. Is what you’re doing being helpful? Are you getting in the way? How can you help if you don’t fully understand what they’re going through? Is your friend snapping at you, taking tough times out on you a little? Does it feel like you’re more hindrance than help? Do you just want some reassurance yourself?
Lots of questions. Very few answers. Yet appreciating that everyone’s situations are different, we’d maintain the crucial thing is to be there.
It doesn’t necessarily mean physically in the room, either. At the end of a phone. On Skype. Posting something nice on Facebook. A WhatsApp message just to say hello. A text message of support. In person, and with a cup of well-chosen coffee, even better. But in dark days, just knowing that someone, somewhere is out there rooting for you can mean the world. Even if you can’t always show it, or reciprocate it, there are few things as valuable in life as a friend by your side.
Friendships, like any relationships, have bumps, have rocky periods, have lots of laughs and lots of tears. You may not always get overt appreciation for being a friend when someone needs one. But we’d bet, and bet generously, that whether it’s shown or not, it really matters to the other person.
You all stay awesome, and thank you, as always, for reading.