"Being there" for someone

The other day I was talking with a friend, one who unfortunately has problems and poor fortune (genuinely, she’s not an attention-seeker and tries hard not to let things bring her down), and while listening to her latest round of woe, it occurred to me that I’m fucking useless; I can do absolutely nothing to help her, so how the hell am I “there” for her at all? How ARE friends supposed to be “there” if the problems don’t have realistic solutions?

Anyone have a spare million dollars so I can help my friend? :frowning:

You’re giving your friend an opportunity to vent and voice her feelings out loud. That really does help, even a little bit. The very best thing you can do for your friend (short of the million bucks) is to help keep her spirits up, and help her in not losing losing hope.

You can listen to her. Some people find enormous amounts of strength in being listened to. In fact, a cottage industry has grown up around that idea.

I’ve said before that when I was in the depths of dysfunction, what I really wanted was for someone to smile and make light conversation, as if I was normal. Unfortunately, many people encouraged me to wallow, as if that would help, and then the same people would start avoiding me because “all she ever talks about is her problems!” Except, when I did try to talk about other things, they suddenly had to be somewhere else. They’d done their good deed, and that was that.

Fortunately, there were others who were willing to ignore the crazy and let me have positive experiences to build on. So that’s what I’d recommend. Give her something to focus on besides her issues. Go to the beach or something, I dunno.

And now I see that the OP has been banned. Well, it’s good advice anyway.

That’s odd. I hope it wasn’t because of this thread!