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The Agony Of Being A Concerned Friend

Updated on May 10, 2011

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Friendly Advice

Real friendship is shown in times of trouble; prosperity is full of friends.

-Euripedes-

Sometimes it is very hard to be someone's friend. These are the times when they need you the most. You see your friend making a mistake. Cautiously and respectfully, you suggest an alternative. They blow up at you and accuse you of putting your nose where it doesn’t belong. What do you do?

Though your feelings are hurt and your ego is bruised, you can’t give up on them. Clearly, they are in pain. You need to forget your own hurt and try to see things from their perspective. Could there be a reason behind their behavior? Though you’re tempted to push them to divulge their problems, you can’t. Remind them that you are there if they need you and then step back. You need to give them a chance to come to you. Good intentioned pushy people are still pushy people.

Let’s say you can’t step back. You’re too concerned about them. You need to know what’s going on. If you’re willing to take the chance of having this situation backfire more than it already has, go for it. You just need to understand the risk you’re taking. They may tell you that your concern is unwanted. They have everything under control and you’re wasting your time and energy by wanting to get involved. In this case, try to respect their wishes. For some reason, they either are uncomfortable having you get involved or don’t want you involved. You need to accept this and hope for the best. If they need your help, they’ll ask for it. You don’t want to come off as overbearing or intrusive.

If you think your friend’s life is in jeopardy then and only then do you need to step in further. Though you don’t want to lose your friendship, you also don’t want to attend their early funeral. If you have the chance to stop a bad situation from happening, you’ve got to do everything in your power to stop it. Remember this though, while often a situation appears to be life or death, you need to be able to tell the difference between a real life or death situation and a moment of melodrama.

When it comes down to it, you’re the one taking the risk. They have already told you, in their own way, to back off. You need to decide if pushing them is worth it or not. It is a wonderful thing for you to care enough about your friend to worry about them. However, we often tend to worry about things that shouldn’t be worried about in the first place. When we start to worry, our minds build things up to enormous proportions. Worrying only makes things worse. We all want to be a good friend and expect our concern to be appreciated. When it is not, we become hurt and react accordingly. Are we right and our friend is wrong or is it the other way around? Does it even matter? It can be so hard being a friend!

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    • LowellWriter profile imageAUTHOR

      L.A. Walsh 

      8 years ago from Lowell, MA

      Much appreciated.

    • mquee profile image

      mquee 

      8 years ago from Columbia, SC

      Anyone who has any kind of feelings has gone through the pains (at times) of trying to be a good friend. This is a good perspective in trying to be a good friend. People don't always take time to think things out when it comes to advising or helping a friend. Thanks for a very good article and topic.

    • LowellWriter profile imageAUTHOR

      L.A. Walsh 

      8 years ago from Lowell, MA

      Thanks for the read, M.

    • profile image

      m.ralph pena 

      8 years ago

      yes, it's hard to be a friend, especially if you're the only one she trusts. but what's not hard in this life? i believe that a friend's love isn't all about emotions, rather, it's dirtying your hands to help someone to reach for her dreams, to remind if she forgets, & to pray for God's guidance, not just for her, but for your amicable relationship. there's a thin line between "being concerned" and "infiltrating the person's decision". as long as you know that you haven't crossed the line, you're still the person to whom she can lean on.

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