Even if you love someone, you may not know how to take care of them, especially when they’re going through tough times.
So if you’re looking for strategies for genuinely being there for someone, read this piece.
Let’s dive in!
12 Best Ways Truly Being There For Someone
1. Apply Their Language of Love
Before and above everything else, you need to learn the way someone loves receiving help. When you know it, you can show your loved ones that you’re there for them. And they’d believe it.
- For some, a simple hug can make things a lot better while for others, hugging is the last thing they need when they’re in trouble.
- Some would treasure simple, “I’m here for you.” statements but others won’t believe it until they see financial investment on your part.
- Some enjoy a nice distraction while others would want to sit and feel the discomfort of a tragedy.
- And while some would like you to show them the light at the end of the tunnel, others appreciate it most when you sit with them in their dark hole for a while
The language of love is different among various people because of varying backgrounds, genetic make-up, and other factors that make up the psychology of a person.
That’s why you need to know which one your loved one appreciates most. You can learn it by:
- Identifying the response they give to someone in distress – the same is probably the solution they need
- Asking them how you can help
2. Help with Their Daily Tasks
While many people underrate this tactic, it’s one of the top signs you’re genuinely there for someone. After all, who doesn’t want help with their tasks when they’re feeling too overwhelmed or sick to do them.
It’s like providing the basic needs of a person.
Therefore, if you can be available to run errands, cook, babysit, or even help them with personal hygiene, you’re a big help. This is one of the ways to be physically there for someone.
3. Give Them a Touch of Love
For some people, touching (With permission of course) is a big comfort. This is especially true for those people fond of touching others during communication.
Think of that friend or family member who loves hugging others whether it’s times of joy or sadness. They probably need hugs too to feel that someone is there for them.
Nonetheless, touch love language goes beyond hugs. It could also be a shoulder squeeze, a pat/rub on the back, or simply the holding of hands.
A touch goes a long way to say, “I really care.” without using words. This could be what you need to show someone you’re there for them.
4. Actively Listen to Them
All humans, whether when happy or sad, feel bad whenever someone fails to listen to them. This is why listening is the most important tool for showing absolutely anyone that you care about them.
To actively listen to someone to show them that you care, you must:
- Choose to be a sounding board – meaning you’re there to help someone spill their thoughts so they can self-evaluate what they’re saying instead of you evaluating it for them plus it’s good for their mental health since they release pent-up emotions.
- Be willing to be non-judgemental and understanding of their plight from their perspective
- Show with body language (Like nodding, signaling them to go on e.t.c) that you’re indeed listening
- Let them repeat what they’ve said so they can process their emotions freely
- Ask for clarification where you haven’t understood
- Shut off distractions by keeping your phone down, turning off the Tv, and so forth
- Refrain from interrupting and offering unsolicited advice
Listening to show someone you’re there for them is about taking your attention off yourself and channeling it towards hearing their full perspective.
5. Notice and Respond
You can admit it feels less lonely when someone notices you’re not okay even without saying a word. It shows that someone is attentive to your well-being. No matter who it is, suddenly, it starts feeling like they’re there for you.
It’s natural because we were raised that way. That a caring mother would look at us and say, “Oh honey, you don’t look well!” So as much as we’re adults, that anticipation of care still remains.
So noticing your loved one’s distress and saying things like, “You look like you need a hug/coffee/snuggle/sleep right now” can be all it takes to make them feel better.
6. Plan a Distracting Activity
Sometimes all someone needs to feel better is a distraction to take their mind off the difficult situation. It may not solve the problem but it can help them relax a little and in your case, be there for them.
But you must plan something fun that your loved one enjoys. Maybe something they haven’t done in a while.
Make sure you ask them first.
7. Make a Visit
Have you been away from your loved one and wish to be there for them? Visit them.
Nothing confirms you’re there for someone like making a visit despite your demanding life. Perhaps you live 5 towns away or have a busy schedule. Maybe you had to make tough decisions to be there for your loved one.
Whatever the situation, visitation has some warmth to it that many people can’t resist.
8. Remind Them You’re There for Them
Someone may know that you love them. And even remember you’ve cared for them a couple of times. But it doesn’t mean it’ll automatically reassure them of your being there for them.
That’s why you need to remind your loved one that you’re available for them whenever they’re in distress.
Here are empathy statements to help someone know you’re there for them:
- “Things are difficult right now but I’m here.”
- “I might have been distant for a while but I’m here for you now.”
- “No matter what happens, don’t forget I got you!”
- “I know you’re really independent but don’t hesitate to ask when you need help with anything.”
- “You want to talk? I’m here to listen.”
- “Don’t worry about crying around me, I’m here for you.”
- “When you feel like talking, don’t hesitate to call me.”
- “We’ll get through this together.”
- “You’re not alone.”
- “I’m sorry that you’ve had to go through this. We’re in this together.”
Words hold power. Use them to make your loved one know you’ll be there for them.
9. Show Them That You Take Them Seriously
While some problems might seem trivial or even silly to the rest of the world, the one hurting takes them seriously. And getting someone who can take them seriously may be all it takes for them to feel loved.
Therefore, with ultimate sincerity, choose to see the problem your loved one is facing through their lens. Whether they’re a child, teen, or adult, their problem is valid so instead of:
- Minimizing it saying stuff like, “At least you have an emergency fund, Stacy lost her job and couldn’t afford her bills.” Or,
- Criticizing it by saying something like, “That isn’t worth worrying about, you’re being petty.”
- Validating by saying something like, “You probably felt awful, I can’t imagine how painful that is to you.” And by the way, you don’t have to accept that their problem would affect you, you’re only confirming that the problem is burdensome to them and that matters
Taking people seriously by listening and expressing empathy to them not only helps them feel better but also boosts their mental health as they process their emotions and learn how to overcome them.
10. Ask Them How You Can Help Fix Their Problem
As we mentioned earlier, some people don’t feel someone is truly there for them until they see you helping fix their problem. This often means materially but it can be about other forms of assistance as well.
Therefore, if you can do more than encourage them, visit them, and help with their day-to-day tasks, ask how you can help fix their problem.
If you can pay their hospital bills, volunteer that option to see if they’ll agree. If you can call a competent lawyer friend to handle stressing legal matters, offer that help. If you can drive them to work now that they don’t have a car, give them some hope with that suggestion.
You get the point.
11. Help Them Find Professional Support
Some matters like chronic mental health disorders like depression and addiction might need professional intervention. So you have to speak to your loved one about that even if they don’t want it.
Sometimes to be there for someone, you have to choose tough love over soft love in order to go through an undesirable but necessary process. When their mental health improves, they’ll have you to thank.
So how can you do it?
- Express your desire to understand them: Use statements that elicit your desire to know what’s wrong with them.
- Educate them about their situation: After establishing trust with your loved one, it’s important to let them know your educated opinion regarding their situation after you’ve done your research.
- Influence an inner drive in them to seek help: While pushing someone to see a coach, therapist, or even go to rehab may work, a better way is to influence the decision of your loved one so that they can henceforth be driven to change their lives.
- Support them while they’re seeking treatment: Continue encouraging their journey and walk with them for them to believe that you’re indeed there for them.
To genuinely be there for someone else isn’t a one-time thing. You have to see them through the tough times to the end in your best capacity to prove it.
12. Keep in Touch
In this fast-paced world, phones are what helps keep us connected despite distance and time constraints. Therefore, keep reaching out to your loved one if you want them to feel cared for.
You can learn these powerful Ways To Make Someone Feel Better Over Text and be present for someone no matter where you are in the world.
And before we move on, remember to take care of your mental health if you want to be strong and healthy while caring for someone else.
To Truly Be There for Someone – Final Pointers
Check out this Q&A to learn more about being present for someone you love!
What is the meaning of being there for me? Being there for someone when they need you
To be there for someone is simply taking time to show someone you care and will be available for them as they go through a tough time. It’s about being comforting and supportive to someone during a time of suffering.
What does being there for someone look like? How do you be there for someone?
You can be there for someone in the form of listening where you offer your time to let them talk about their problems without judging them or trying to offer solutions. It can also be about offering solutions like paying someone’s bills when they face financial crises or as simple as a hug.
What does it mean to be there for your friends?
Being there for your friends means you’re present in their lives as much as you can. This includes being accepting of your friends, staying loyal, making time for them, helping out with anything whenever you can, and caring for them especially when they’re experiencing hardship.
What does being there for someone physically mean?
You can be there for someone physically by visiting them and giving them hugs, cuddles, and other physical touches to comfort them. You can also do chores, run errands, and do help with other physical activities as a way of offering support during difficult times.
What does being there for someone emotionally mean?
Being there for someone emotionally means showing them compassion and encouraging them to make them feel better. This can take many forms including physical gestures showing support, talking to them compassionately, as well as doing kind acts such as babysitting their pet for them.
Being there for someone with depression
Here are things you can do to show care for someone with depression:
- Listen compassionately to your loved one
- Learn about depression
- Help them with day-to-day tasks
- Help them find professional help
- Stay supportive during their treatment
- Be patient with them
- Do uplifting activities together
- Care for yourself to be able to take care of your loved one
I hope by now you know exactly how you’re going to be there for someone you love. Remember to take note of how they care for others to know how they’ll feel most cared for.
And hey, if you loved this piece, share it with others to change lives, and don’t forget to share your thoughts on the topic below!