It can be tough to know what to say and how to act when your friend is sick. You want to stand by your friend; but you don’t want to say or do the wrong thing. It can be equally hard to help a friend who has a close family member who is sick. Yet, as a friend you need to reach out to your friend in these circumstances. You need to let your friend know you are there for him/her and that you care. Here are some tips to help you help your friend, if he/she is in such a predicament.
Tip # 1 Keep up contact with him/her
You may think it is best to keep your distance, to allow your friend time to heal or time to deal with the circumstances at hand. Yet, you may be wrong. Your friend may need a shoulder to lean upon now more than ever. Acknowledge what is happening to your friend. Make sure he/she knows that you are there for support, to listen or to just sit with if the need ever arises. Knowing someone is there anytime can make your friend feel not so alone.
Tip #2 Trying to keep things as normal as possible
It can be hard to keep up a normal front. Yet, this can help make your friend feel better. Don’t shy away talking about your life and your problems. Each of you talking about your problems is probably a normal part of your relationship. Also try to keep up with normal plans such as standing lunches or regular shared cups of coffees if the circumstances allow.
Tip #3 Hug your friend when needed
Don’t be afraid to reach out and hug your friend when he/she is crying or feeling low. Sometimes human contact and just a friendly hug can brighten one’s day.
Tip #4 Listen to your friend
Express to your friend that you are willing to listen to how he/she is feeling and then listen when he/she finally opens up to you. Sharing one’s feelings is a great release and that is what friends should be able to do together.
Tip #5 Try not to smother your friend
Your first instinct may be to act motherly and try to protect your friend. This may be a nice gesture but after awhile this attention can seem smothering. Learn when it is time to back off and give your friend some room.
Tip #5 Considering giving food gifts and helping out with errands
During sickness and health crisis, it can be hard to take care of one’s family as one should. As a caring friend, you could help by bringing over casseroles and other food items to help with the challenges of meals. You could also offer to run any errands you know may have.
Tip #6 Know when it is appropriate to bring faith into your conversation
Talking about faith can be a personal thing. We all have our own beliefs and our faith journey. Although you may have your own thoughts on this subject, do don’t push these onto your friend if you do not share these or if you are not sure of his/her own faith and beliefs.
It can be a heartbreaking experience when you see a friend suffering from a sickness or when you see a friend, who has a love one suffering from an illness. However, it can be an experience that can prove how much your friendship actually means and how much this person actually means to you.