Being a friend means being there for someone through good times and bad. If you have a friend going through a life crisis, you need to show how much you care about them. These are five tips for supporting a friend through a life crisis.

Listen

Your friend might feel particularly overwhelmed because they don’t feel like anyone is listening to them without judgement. The best way to be supportive is to simply listen. Let your friend express themselves however they feel is best. This can be incredibly cathartic for them. Make sure that you use active listening skills. Reassure them of their feelings, validate what they are saying. You may want to automatically go in problem-solving mode. However, that can often backfire because it may sound like you are telling them they aren’t doing enough or that it’s somehow their fault.

There is a time and a place for everything. Don’t be afraid to ask your friend if they want you to listen and validate or if they want you to do a brainstorming session together. Let them lead and follow with what they need at the moment

Do Things with Them

When someone is going through a tough time, it can be easy for them to want to hide from the world. You shouldn’t force your friend to go out or do things they don’t want to do, but you should let them know you’d love to spend time together. You can do things like watch a favorite television series, get dinner, or go for a walk. You can surprise them with a dinner. They may not be acting like their normal selves, which is fine. Even not doing anything together can be good. Don’t just ask, do something. Show up for t hem literally.

Offer Help

Some people are too proud to accept or ask for help, but you should still lend a hand to your friend as much as you can. If your friend is going through a divorce, you might find the name of a good divorce lawyer. You can also surprise them with things like buying them lunch or sending them thoughtful cards in the mail. Your generosity can really brighten their day.

Empathize

You want to be careful to not seem like you’re trying to steal your friend’s thunder by talking about your problems. However, you can show you understand what they’re going through by talking about similar experiences you’ve had. When they realize they’re not alone, they can learn to see the situation through a new light.

Be Patient

Don’t expect that you’ll be able to help your friend through their crisis all by yourself or right away. Healing is a process, and the time varies for everyone. The important thing is that you’re able to show that you want the best for your friend. As time goes on and your support continues, they should hopefully find themselves closer to a fresh start.

Your being there for your friend in a time of need says a lot about how much you care for them. Even if it seems like nothing to you, they are likely to take it to the heart. Your willingness to show how much the friendship means to you can help them realize that there is hope and goodness in the world.