Thursday, September 24, 2020
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Fran Thring

Does the magic always have to fade?

I’m a self-confessed die-hard romantic. You wouldn’t always know because I can also be quite cynical and sarcastic, but at the bottom of all of that disillusion is a foundational belief in the ability to fall in love and remain in love.

Happily ever after. Like the fairy tales. But also, not like the fairy tales.

Many people believe that love is a fleeting thing. It’s a crush and then it’s gone. I think this is a one-dimensional look at relationships and I do know people who are still as in love 20 years later as they were the day they met and started dating. How does this happen? And is it possible?

What’s the real issue?

The real issue with a “lack of love” in a relationship is not because of time. It could be because of a lack of compatibility or a change in either of the parties’ lives. Mostly, it’s because people start to take each other for granted. They assume that the person on the other side will always be there. They won’t. And they especially won’t if you start to presume that they feel appreciated and loved when you don’t put the time into it.

Keep getting better at loving each other

We shouldn’t look at loving someone as a once off job. You can never ever get too good at loving another person. You will never be perfect at it and you can always learn. If you keep on looking at life as though the easy part is done and now you know it all and can slack off you are missing out in the beautiful intimacy that comes with knowing and being known.

Keep growing as a person

Relationships become boring when the people involved stop growing. A growing person is always interesting, intriguing and this makes for an interesting relationship. Why don’t you take a look at your life and ask yourself how you are doing on the personal growth spectrum? There is always lots and lots of areas to grow in. Get at it and become a better you than last year’s you.

Make it fun

Relationships require investment. If your relationship has become boring then perhaps it’s because you are no longer putting in the time to make it fun. Anything in life requires constant work to keep it fresh and fabulous. Don’t let things get boring. Make a stand. Phone up your partner and plan a surprise night out. Treat them to a something special. What you put in, you will get out so make sure you put the time in.

Communicate through issues

Lots of times relationships get strained and tense when important issues have not been worked through. Then they start to lag and it is difficult to get back to the place where it was in the beginning. Working through issues can make your relationship stronger, not weaker and it’s an important thing to keep at if you want the passion and health of your relationship to remain high. You can never over communicate. If you are no longer feeling very excited about the person on the other side, you may consider initiating a real conversation.

People remain passionate about hobbies their whole lives. They remain close friends with many people and they are able to sustain working relations their whole life. I see no reason as to why a romantic relationship should be any different. The love may feel less intense, but in the absence of intensity, it will deepen to a beautiful friendship. Take back ‘the magic will die’ mentality and let’s replace it with ‘the magic will change its hue’.

God never stops loving us and He has placed within us a huge capacity for love and care.

Let writing be your medicine

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It’s hard to think of a group of friends without one or two which struggle with depression. Mental illness and emotional difficulties are on the rise and most of us can identify with having had challenges in this area.

There are many, many ways to try to target mental illness but more often than not people jump into medication before they have tried alternative options. Medication isn’t always bad, but it is important to try to use other ways to help with your emotional problems which don’t involve popping a pill.

One of the best ways to work through emotional challenges in your life is to get open a notebook and write. I have used writing to cope with all of the most difficult times in my life and I can honestly say, I don’t know how I would have done it without this tool to help me process.

How about you try writing as your medicine?

Get it off your chest

Often we have difficulty thinking clearly. This may be because many, many thoughts are leaping around our minds and we can’t process them. When you get out a notebook and write down your thoughts it is far, far easier to objectively look at and process them, one at a time. You can even see, at this stage, what is a rational thought and what is not a rational thought. Try to do this every time you feel overwhelmed and as if you are not able to deal with all the crazy stuff going on inside your mind.

Keep a journal

Keeping a journal can sometimes feel like a teenage girl – ‘Dear diary, today I did this and then I did this’. However, keeping a journal is something which many therapists recommend. Not only does this create discipline and structure in your life but it gives you a constant place to feel safe and release your emotions. While you may not notice the difference this makes immediately, over time you will sense accomplishment and a sense of freedom from the regular release.

Don’t edit, just write

When you are writing for you, you don’t need to edit. The purpose of your writing is for you to be free and allow yourself to express what is going on. Nobody needs to read it (at this stage) and the editing process will only slow you down. Let it go, use the words you want to use, be honest, vent and describe your feelings in detail. It’s okay.

Make a list

The human mind feels satisfied when it has deadlines, objectives and accomplishments. There is nothing that makes you feel more accomplished than crossing some items off a list. Think about it, this even helps you when you are out doing the grocery shopping! If you are struggling to focus in your day and feeling sad or depressed is making you opt out of life, don’t let the struggle win. Sit down and create a list of all the things which you are grateful for in your life (this will help immediately) and then create a list of all the things which you plan to accomplish that day.

Write a letter

Often our depression is linked to an event in which we were hurt and offended. Feeling sad in this case is normal and writing a letter can be a great way to process these feelings. You don’t have to give the person this letter, however just getting it out will help you with how you feel. Many times we need to get it out and then write a letter to forgive the person on the other end and allow ourselves to be freed in the process.

Remember whatever you are dealing with, even though it feels very consuming and overwhelming is just for a season and will go away. No matter what the difficulty, you can always pray and ask God for help. He loves you and will be there with you through the challenging time. He offers us peace when we are tired and hurt and he will never leave you stranded in a situation alone.

Our obsession with approval is destroying us

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We all strive for approval from our peers – this is normal to a certain degree. There is nothing wrong with wanting recognition for our accomplishments, but it seems like this has become more of a need than a nice to have. Many people are living their lives based on “what would people think?” and that’s a scary thought.

It’s easier said than done to say “just don’t care what other people think”, but there is some value behind the phrase. If you place your value in other people’s hands then it will surely get lost or thrown aside some way into the journey.

The need for approval is developed in early childhood

We grow up in an approval economy which makes it difficult for us to break such a long entrenched habit. Be good at school and everyone loves you. Please the teacher and get a gold star. Wear cool things and become friends with the right kids at school. Our system is set up in a way which places achievement and approval on a pedestal when it should rather teach inherent value.

We put up a front and deny our true self

The things that make you you are usually the things which are squashed in the process of trying to please everyone else. Don’t try to brand yourself as something which you believe other people will like, rather be yourself and in time you will find a crowd of people who appreciate you for who you are. We try too hard to become something which we are not.

We fall apart when we don’t receive the approval we think we deserve

If your sense of self is based on what everyone else thinks then at some point, when the world doesn’t deliver as you wish it would, you fall apart. Nobody likes your selfie pic – and all of a sudden you aren’t pretty, you feel like you shouldn’t try and your world crumbles.

We hang out with people for street cred and not because we like them

Fake friends will only ever make you feel good for a short amount of time. If you hang out with people in order to feel like you fit in or look cool, you will soon find that when things get rough they will not be there. We all need quality relationships in order to feel good about ourselves. Fake friends are never worth the trade in for real friends who know you and love you for you.

What can you do to change?

You are the only one fixating on all your failures. Nobody else is. Nobody cares how many likes you got or if your face has one more blotchy spot today. Nobody cares if you have a long nose or long legs. Everyone is going on living their life and the sooner you gain some perspective, and realise we actually don’t care that much,  the better.

Don’t listen to the haters

People will hate. Often because of their own insecurity and need for approval. Don’t stoop to their level. Stand strong in who you are and ignore all the trash talking. People who bring down, instead of building up, other people are never worth the time or effort. Peace out from all the haters and go find your crew – the ones who tell you good things and aren’t competing against you.

Unapologetically be yourself

God made you you, with one finger print unique to you and only you. You are made the way you are for a reason and nobody can take that away from you unless you let them. God loves you, and He wants all the good stuff He has placed within you to come forth. Trust Him and lean on Him for your approval because He already and always approves.

You are not your job title

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There is a quote from Brennan Manning that reads:

Define yourself as one radically loved by God. This is your true self, every other identity is an illusion.

I’ve always wanted to live in Cape Town. I’ve always wanted to be a successful writer, skip from one cool social event to the next, date lots of boys and have lots of friends. I guess this was the picture I had in my mind of myself and I felt if the reality was something different it minimised my worth.

When I meet new people, they usually ask me what I do, “well,” I say “I run the strategy side of things in a Digital Agency and I’m also a blogger and writer on the side.” The response is often, “wow,” or “cool,” or “that sounds awesome.”

It is AWESOME. It’s really awesome, but what they are doing is sussing you out according to your title and measure of success. What if I had said to them, “I’m a stay at home Mom,” or “a cashier,” would they have thought less of me? Maybe.

We all place our worth and our value in the form of something. We all judge other people based on some kind of system in our heads of cool things and not so cool things about a person. It could be hair, jobs, dress sense, friends, cars or houses.

Take some time to ask yourself the question: what things do you use to create your identity and worth?

Do you define yourself by where you live?

Some people always want to live in the trendy side of town. They like attaching the name of an affluent suburb to their life and identifying with it. Some people like to live in a big city – like Cape Town, or New York or LA and gain their identity from that. Maybe it’s the fact that you live in the arty part of town, or the rough part of town. Where ever you stay don’t let that become who you are.

Do you define yourself by who you hang out with?

It’s the age-old fact – cool by association. If you hang out with people who think that they are cool, then you will often feel that way too. You will probably also judge people on what social circle they run in. Do you sometimes think “awww I don’t know if I like that person” and then find out they are friends with someone famous and think –  “maybe I do like them”. Don’t rule people out because they are friends with different people, embrace different people and learn from them.

Do you define yourself in your qualifications?

I have 7 MBAs and 2 PHDs – kiddin’ really I don’t. Sometimes we put ourselves through years of unnecessary studying in order to earn the right to speak up and feel proud of ourselves. That doesn’t make sense. You don’t need a degree to be good at a job, to be a good friend or have a successful career. Yes, it helps. But don’t place your identity on a piece of paper.

Do you define yourself in your dress sense?

Just try hanging out with a bunch of fashionistas if you think people don’t do this – they do. People will often judge other people on their outfits, which is a really silly way of evaluating a person. Someone who dresses well isn’t better than someone who doesn’t. Trendy clothes don’t change a broken heart or personal issues.

The only thing of lasting value that we can judge ourselves on is this:

The Bible says,

…God loves you and has chosen you to be His own… – Thessalonians 1:4

God says you are worth while. This means if all your clothes, houses, and friends were to be gone tomorrow, He still says you are great. Don’t let the world around you determine your value. Don’t let material things substitute for real, good things – you, as you are, are chosen.

How to become Instagram famous

Step out of the way Hollywood – everyday girls and guys are becoming internet famous and they are not even moving to LA. The new kid on the block is Instagram and its booming.

Instagram is the trendiest social media platform at the moment. Everyone who is anyone is hustling hard to try get likes, followers and views on their accounts. If you want to become a model – Instagram is the place to hang out. If you want to sell your home-made items – Instagram is the place to hang out. If you are a blogger, photographer or freelancer – Instagram is definitely the place you want to invest time and effort.

A high follow count on Instagram is a great way to get your services out and promote your business objectives – nobody can deny that. The thing is, if you are creating and posting to an Instagram account in order to “become famous”– maybe you need to rethink why.

Being famous for the sake of being famous is kind of pointless. Unless you have a message or product to share with the world gaining a lot of publicity usually happens for the wrong reasons. Fame is fleeting and real friends are always more important than Instagram friends. Treating people well in real life is always better than liking or following pictures and the world’s obsession with instant gratification will one day fade away.

However, if you would like to increase your Instagram follow count then we can help you:

Decide on your niche

People generally follow people who are interested in what they are interested in. If you are into sport or fashion or healthy eating – whatever it is, rather try to be really good at one thing instead of sort of good at a lot. It makes it hard for people to place you.

Post regularly

You can post 2-3 times on Instagram as often your content may become lost in people’s feeds. However, what is more important than how often you post is the quality of the content you post. Is the caption well written and interesting. Does it link with the image? Is the image blurry or badly cropped? You will never win people over with poor quality content.

Network

Make time to go and check out other people’s accounts, follow them and comment on what they do. You can win a lot of fans and make some great friends by commenting with authenticity. It’s called a social network for a reason – not people are accessible who usually wouldn’t have been.

Use hashtags

Hashtags aren’t just cool ways of showing what your #crew or #squad are up to on the weekend – they are ways in which people search for interesting content. If you use applicable hashtags on your post then you will find that people will discover you and you may win yourself some followers.

Keep positive

The Instagram community is largely inspirational and positive. Unless you are selecting another tone, the majority of the things you post should be of a positive nature. Don’t complain about work or boys or the rain – rather try to find the message in the mess and help someone who has struggled with a challenge.

Select an aesthetic

If the look and feel of your instagram feed is all over the place then you won’t win yourself followers. Try to pick a colour scheme and a “vibe” you are going for. Then don’t deviant from the look and feel. Try to keep your messaging consistent and the material in your photographs similar so that people know what to expect with your brand.

Remember, Instagram is supposed to be fun. It should never become an obsession or take over your life so you can’t function outside of the application. Focus on quality content and remain consistent – you’ll find the followers will come.

Want a secret tip to lose weight?

Want a secret tip to lose weight? I know they say there supposedly aren’t secrets for weight loss, but actually, there are! And I have one. Are you ready for it? Drum roll please…

Meal planning.

What? That’s it? Yes. Meal planning. Here’s why:

• It eliminates mindless eating.
• It ensures that every bite is approved.
• It controls calorie and nutritional counts.
• It plans when your nutrients will be consumed.

And did I mention it saves you time so you can spend all those extra hours at the gym. Haha, you know you want to. Perhaps the idea of meal planning sounds intimidating? And you are thinking, where do I start? Well in 7 easy steps we will walk you through it. Ready, set and go!

How to get started:

Outline a plan

How many meals do you eat each day? How much weight do you want to lose (remember this is not the goal, but if you do want to lose weight then you should consider cutting down on your intake of carbohydrates). What size should your meals be per day? Many times we eat portions which are far, far bigger than anything that we should be eating. Don’t eat for the sake of eating but rather benchmark against regular portion control.

Find pre-made options

Even if you are prepping, it is still a lot of work to cook everything. Try to get some pre-cooked chicken, brown rice which heats up in a bag or veggies which you can steam in 5 minutes. This will give you a head start on your preparations.

Create a list of recipes

Get friendly with Google and see what you can come up with in terms of recipes. There are loads of options. Go for the recipes which are simple (ain’t nobody got time for that) and low in fats. Some good options are the follows: sautéed veggies, slow cooker lean beef, stir fried chicken, baked sweet potato, rolled oats, and hard-boiled eggs.

Go shopping

Once you’ve got your recipes take to the shops to get everything you need. It may seem very expensive but you will find that you are spending this amount and more anyway without getting the nutritional gains. Do a quick clean out of your fridge before your shopping trip so that you have space and remember to get some Tupperware containers and plastic bags.

Start cooking

Cook through the recipes you have planned. You may have to set aside some time and put some music on to make it go quicker, but remember, once again you are saving time in the long run. If you need fresh vegetables for your meals leave these out and only cook them on the day or make a salad.

Measure and pack your meals

You may have to freeze some meals if you don’t have enough space in your fridge. Try to stack things and get them in so that you have enough for 3 days. You can defrost after that. You should also have some handy snacks set aside for when you feel munchy so that you don’t pick up chocolates and crisps instead of their better alternative.

Grab and GO!

There you go! Don’t forget to put your meals into a cool box. And don’t forget to drink lots of water so you remain hydrated. Happy planning.

How to start a blog in 2017

It’s 2017. The world is changing, more and more people are building their own platforms and creating a piece of digital space online they can call their own. A new job title has emerged – “blogger.”

These bloggers seem to have “the life”. Basically, they take pretty pictures, write a caption, travel the world and get paid to do it. Right? Wrong. There is far more to blogging and creating a great blog than there appears at the outset.

Not sure if you want to start a blog? Need some help and tips, let’s get going.

Create your strategy

The first thing most people get wrong with their blogs when they start is that they are not specific enough. They shoot too wide. Nobody wants to read about fashion and travel and your night with the in-laws on the same platform. Plus, it is very difficult to write all those posts. Rather try take a more strategic approach to your blog by asking yourself the following questions:

What is most important to you?

Who are you inspired by?

What are you naturally good at?

What do you like about yourself?

What do you want for your future?

These questions will help you think about whether or not a blog is really a good fit for you. It will also help you to distill what is the key motivation behind you starting a blog and what will make you unique. Remember, “A goal without a plan is just a wish.”

Create a mission statement

A mission statement is what your blog will do for others. Without a mission statement your blog will drift. It will be difficult for you to determine which direction you want it to go and why. When you force yourself to sit down and create a mission statement it makes you hone, focus and craft your vision. These things will all make your blog better.

Ask yourself these questions:

What will your blog do for its readers?

What problems will your blog solve?

What expertise can you share?

What are your goals in the next three years?

You need to get tech savvy

Blogs don’t just materialise out of thin air or arrive on the internet by magic. Structuring, changing and updating your blog takes some understanding of how things online work. If this does sound overwhelming (who isn’t overwhelmed by the dark underbelly of code and tech) try not to let it put you off too much. There are lots of good websites to help you here. You will need to persist and learn some new things though.

Select good images

This is where many, many bloggers go wrong. They don’t have quality images to go with their posts. A blurry photo of you from 1995 is not going to win you support. Neither are pages and pages of text without a break. You have to have good photographs if you want to blog successfully. Arrange a photo shoot and learn to use your camera.

Be consistent

Most blogs take over a year to receive traction. People aren’t interested in a flash by night or a rollercoaster of posts. It’s always easy to write well at the beginning of your blogging adventure but keeping it up throughout the following years is not as easy. If you want to be successful, you have to keep to a blogging schedule and make sure you deliver good content often.

Invest into marketing

People won’t just land on your website because you look cute and say clever things. If only. Nope, a blog is a business and you are going to need to invest into marketing in order to see the right kind of people arrive at your site. Put aside a monthly budget for marketing costs and try a few different kinds of online marketing to see what works best for you.

Keep growing your skills

A blogger has to keep getting better. The digital environment is updating and so should you. If your posts aren’t better a year later you need to question why.

Blogging is not for the faint-hearted – however, if you are passionate about what you wish to blog about, hard-working and willing to learn some new skills you will find that your blog is both rewarding and, in time, lucrative.

Conditional and unconditional love

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So often when couples are fighting, one of the two has the sense that they are working harder and the other is slacking off.

“I do the dishes!”

“Well, I clean the car!”

“That only needs to be done once a week!”

The arguments are usually petty and don’t get anyone anywhere.

Arguments like these, which escalate and cause break ups, are usually the product of a conditional love mindset. It’s a mindset which says, ‘I’ve given x amount and so you must give x amount, or else…’

Relationships don’t work well on this theory

The thing about relationships is that although both parties usually give the equal amounts it may happen at different times. Also, every time you give in a relationship and then remind the person on the other side about it, it contributes to a sense of mistrust. If, in a relationship, one party is clearly giving more than the other, then it is time for an open and honest conversation.

An open conversation is always better than trying to manipulate someone into caring for you.

Many times in relationships when things don’t go our way and there is a sense of inequality we end up trying to argue or trick the other person into doing what we want. This isn’t effective and more often than not, it ends up destroying the relationship instead of creating a challenge for the two people involved to work through. Every time you work through an issue together you can learn and grow closer.

Our picture of unconditional love is incorrect

Many times we think of unconditional love as caring for someone regardless of how they treat you. This isn’t unconditional love. Unconditional love is caring for someone regardless of what obstacles in life you come up against. Caring for someone through the stressful seasons of low finances and children who hate school. Caring for someone through the family cancer and having to sell the house.

Unconditional love comes from self-acceptance

It is very difficult to be secure in a relationship when you aren’t secure in who you are and what you bring to the table. Couples often take out their insecurities on each other instead of working through these. When you know you, and are confident is who God made you to be, then you don’t need to put lots of pressure on the other person in your relationship to fill that gap.

God loves you unconditionally

The best example of unconditional love is God. You can do anything, go through anything and say anything and God will still love you. God promises to love you at your worst and love you at your best. If you haven’t experienced His love, all you need to do is ask Him into your heart. Ask Him to show you His unconditional love.

Once you have experienced this love then you will be able to do life from a greater place of security and strength.

25 verses for women in need of love and reassurance

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Life isn’t easy and, as a woman, many times things get you down. You feel weak, unsupported and unaccepted. You feel as if there is no longer any strength left in you and happy endings are for someone else. Can I kindly say to you, even if you feel alone, you are not alone. When you feel lost the best thing that you can do is to read what God says about you and allow this to sink into, and feed your soul.

Yes, at first it may feel strange and you may not have read many Bible verses before. Then, once you carry on reading and open yourself up to the idea that there is truth behind them, you will find that these verses will give you strength.

Read them slowly, think on what they say and I believe that once you are done you will feel stronger on the inside.

  1. “God is within her, she will not fall.” — Psalm 46:5

2. “She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.” — Proverbs 31:25

3. “The Lord is my strength and my shield.” — Psalm 28:7

4. “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” — Romans 5:8

5. “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”— Joshua 1:9

6. “She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.” — Proverbs 31:26

7. “Under His wings you will find refuge.” — Psalm 9:1

8. “Don’t worry about anything, instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done.” — Philippians 4:6-8

9. “By the grace of God, I am what I am.” — 1 Corinthians 15:10

10. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not onto your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your path.” — Proverbs 3:5-6

11. “Blessed is she who believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her.” — Luke 1:45

12. “You are beautiful for you are fearfully and wonderfully made.” — Psalm 139:14

13. “Let all that you do be done in love.” — 1 Corinthians 16:14

14. “It is not fancy hair, gold jewellery, or fine clothes that should make you beautiful. No, your beauty should come from inside you –the beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit. That beauty will never disappear and it is worth very much to God.” — 1 Peter 3:3-4

15. “Be strong. Be Brave. Be fearless. You are never alone.” — Joshua 1:9

16. “Mightier than the waves of the sea is His love for you.” — Psalm 93:4

17. “Perhaps this is the moment for which you have been created.” — Esther 4:14

18. “And in Christ you have been brought to fullness.” — Colossians 2:10

19. “Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” — Proverbs 31:30

20. “Declare over yourself: ‘God has not given me a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind.’” — 2 Timothy 1:7

21. “Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love.” — Psalm 143:8

22. “You are loved more than you will ever know by someone who died to know you.” — Romans 5:6

23. “For I know the plans I have for you.” — Jeremiah 29:11

24. “The Lord will fight for you, you need only to be still.” — Exodus 14:14

25. “I will never leave you or forsake you.” — Joshua 1:5

Doesn’t that feel better already? So many times we listen to the voices of everyone out there instead of listening to God’s voice and what He has to say to us.

If these words have spoken to you and you feel moved why don’t you think about taking a step closer to God?

My friend is suicidal, what should I do?

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Many of us have gone through tough times in life. It’s hard to escape your teenage years without bullying and insecurity. Most people admit to feeling depressed at some stage of their life. What gets us through these difficult times are usually two things: our friends and family who support us and our faith in a good God.

When a friend opens up and tells you that something is wrong, or when you figure out something is wrong – it’s always difficult to know what to do. What should you say and how should you act? Is there a wrong way or a right way to behave and what if something you say makes everything worse. It’s never easy to know what is or isn’t the right thing to do. However, there are some principles which can help you to make the right decision.

If you see something, say something

People who are struggling with things usually find it difficult to open up or try to hide that they are desperately unhappy. If you start to realise something is wrong, or if your friend says something which makes you concerned then silence is not the right way to deal with it. When something like this comes up you should try to encourage your friend to talk to you about it. Be as kind as you can in the conversation and let them know that they can trust you. Be gentle and reassuring. In times like this it is very important that the person who is struggling has someone to share things with.

Ask questions like, “what has made you feel this way?”

Or “How can I help you?

Look for opportunities to be kind

It may just be that your friend is going through something at home or is dealing with some internal issues. You don’t know. The best thing is to be very kind. Call your friend in the evenings, or text them to make sure they are okay. Go out of your way to be kind to them. Check that they are not left alone as much as you can. Include them if you are going out in the evenings or buy them coffee when you are at work. These little things can remind them that someone cares and that life is worthwhile.

Try being encouraging and pointing them to a better future.

Be consistent

Someone who is going through something difficult may be very inconsistent. They may not arrive at events they said they would attend. They may seem okay one day and then not the next. Your job as a friend is to be as consistent as you can. Stay calm and try not to let their troubles get you down. Even the smallest change in your mood or attitude could have a big effect on them as they are fragile and hurt.

Remember anything they say to you isn’t a reflection on you, rather it’s a reflection of what they are going through.

Get professional help

You can not counsel someone. If they are dealing with something serious then they need professional help. You need to help them with this. They may not feel like they need this, but your silence could have a huge effect if their issue is real. Most churches have a pastor or someone who is available to help and counsel them with their problem.

Often there are hotlines which you can call if you are genuinely concerned that your friend may be in immediate danger of making a bad decision.

Pray

There is power in prayer. When things get difficult and you don’t know what to say then you should always remember that you have access to a power which is greater than you. Praying for your friend is one of the best things you can do in this difficult time. No situation is too big for God, so reach out to Him in your time of need and encourage your friend to reach out too. God’s love is infinite and we can trust with the things we can not carry.

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