7 Ways to Help When a Friend is Hurting…

Dear Ginger


I am always touched by the messages and comments I receive here on the blog. I can’t tell you how much hearing from you has meant to me, and I am so honored to spend a little part of your day with you!

Recently I have received messages from women who know someone going through a hard time. They want to know how to best help and be encouraging to their hurting friends. I am so blessed to have friends who have been with me through the darkest moments of my life. I could not have made it through those times without their love, support, prayers, hugs, phone calls, and just being there for me. My friends have inspired and lifted me up more than they’ll ever know, and because of them I want to share with you some ways that we can all be there for our friends – even in the rough times. 


Reach out and let them know you care.

A phone call, a text message, an email – such easy ways that you can let your friend know that they are on your heart. Even better, a handwritten note is something tangible that they can hold in their hands and know that you are there for them.


Don’t pressure them to share details of what they are going through.

Some friends might want to vent or share with you, but others will not. Struggles may be intensely personal, and we need to respect their need for privacy during this time. Follow their lead, and don’t push them to open up more than they are ready to share with you at the moment.


Please don’t take offense if they don’t get back with you right away.

When you’re in a dark place, it’s hard to remember to thank or get back with the people who help or check in with you. A quick message from you may be exactly what your friend needed, but sometimes people forget to respond in the stress and busyness of that moment. And that’s okay.


Offer to help with something specific.

Sometimes we need to go beyond the generic offer, “Let me know if I can do anything.” Do they need a babysitter for an hour or two? Perhaps taking them a meal would be a huge help. Lend them your favorite comedy or chick flick to lighten the mood. Sometimes having a cup of coffee and talking about anything else is just what the broken heart needs.


Keep their story private. Don’t share it with others.

It really is a small world after all, and people can all too easily connect the dots. Be a true friend to them, and don’t talk to others about what was told to you in confidence. Not even in a vague concern or sharing prayer requests sort of way. This is not your story to tell unless you have been given their blessing to share it with others.


Go easy on the advice.

Many friends just want to vent or to know that you care. Don’t interject your opinion unless they ask for your advice. Instead, just concentrate on just being there for them.



When in doubt, take her chocolate. Chocolate makes everything better.


What about you? ~

Do you have any other tips for our friends? What are some other ways that they can help and encourage their friends who are hurting?

Do you have any other questions for me? I aways really, truly, sincerely love hearing from YOU. Just leave me a comment here or email me at justoneoftheboysblog@gmail.com

Have you signed up to have my new posts delivered straight to your inbox yet? Just go to the JOIN THE COMMUNITY section above – and type in your email address. You won’t miss a thing, and you will make my whole day! It’s as easy as that!

Until next time,


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Written by ginger


  • Amanda says:

    Sound advice. Sometimes it’s just good to know people care.

  • Tee says:

    Hi Ginger. I love your advice about offering to help with “something specific.” We are so used to saying “Please let me know what I can do to help you through this tough time.” Often times, the person who’s hurt doesn’t share what they need help with. We should instead say, “let me bring dinner for your this weekend..” Something specific like that.

  • Very good advice. There was a tragedy in my boyfriend’s family recently, and so many of these ring true. Sometimes you just have to be there and listen, not speak.

  • These are such great tips! I especially like specific offers to help. It’s hard to accept help when someone says “If you need anything just call.” But if someone says “Can I bring you dinner tonight?” I’ll probably say yes- thank you so much that would be amazing!

  • Great tips, very good advices.

  • breanna says:

    This was such a great read. It actually opened my eyes to some of the things I need from others as well. Also to help me know when and what to say to others that need the help just as much. Thank you for sharing.

  • Tami says:

    It’s hard to know what to do when a friend is hurting. These are great tips to remember.

  • JcCee Watkins Barney says:

    Great advice! I especially agree with offering specific help because sometimes people can not think about actually what they may need at the time.

  • Diane says:

    When I was taking a grief class in college, I remember my teacher stressed the importance of following up with someone about 6 weeks after they have experienced the death of a family member. By that time the meals, cards, phone calls, etc. have stopped. The family often feels alone as other people have moved on with their lives, but they still acutely feel the loss.

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I’m Ginger ~

I'm a wife to my Beloved, mom of three boys, bookworm, survivor of a broken heart, and Kansas Girl. It is my desire to encourage you. No matter what storm you're going through right now, you are not alone. I promise.

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