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What to Say to a Friend Going Through Tough Times


The week Alan found out about his scary test results was a tough one. One night, I told my friend Stacy what was going on, and afterwards, she said something that completely surprised me. It was so sweet, thoughtful and incredibly simple, but I don’t know if anyone had ever asked me before. Being the wonderful friend she is, it makes perfect sense that she would ask…

“Is there anything I can do for you?”

It’s hard for me to ask for help (I always worry I’m inconveniencing people!) so her sincere question felt like a big relief. Now, whenever someone’s going through a difficult time, I’ll ask this question instead of saying, “Let me know if there’s anything I can do.” While it’s just subtly different, I like that it’s a little more direct.

Are you good at asking for help? Or are you the same way? What’s the best thing someone’s said to you during a tough time? 

(top photo by Grace E. Jones, bottom photo by Jackie Bjornert)

Last modified: January 10, 2019