Wondering how to help a lonely friend who has isolated themselves? Sometimes, friends can get wrapped up on what’s going on with them and become a bit distant. It can be hard to know if you should even try to help them, let alone how to help them.
Plus, when the nights draw in and everyone decides to stay at home with hot chocolate and the dog, sometimes it’s even pretty hard to tell the friend that’s become isolated from the friends that are just pure chillin’.
Well, in order to tell if they are going through something, take a quick read of this. Feel like you want to help them? Read on.
1) They haven’t become distant to hurt you
When a pal becomes distant or isolated, it can be easy to think that the reason is simply that they no longer want to hang out with you. But, when someone is going through something, they can withdraw from the people around them.
It’s important to remember that they aren’t doing this to hurt you, and they aren’t doing this because they suddenly hate you.
2) They might just have a lot going on right now
Life is always about the ups and downs. Sometimes, when we go through a particularly rough patch, we kind of go back to what is familiar and comfortable for all of us, and spend more and more time alone.
3) Try reaching out in a casual way first like over WhatsApp or Facetime
Talking about what’s going on with us is always a tough one. Try reaching out to them in a casual way first like through WhatsApp or Instagram, just to see if they want to talk. They might not want to, but the action of checking in with them is enough to make them feel like they are not alone for now.
4) Don’t force them to do things
So jumping straight on the accelerator might seem like a quick fix for getting them back into the swing of things, but it might not be the best idea. For one, they might have isolated themselves for loads of reasons, and one of them could be anxiety or another issue that makes being around lots of people difficult.
Check out our article on how to help a friend who has social anxiety for some tips and tricks here.
5) Be understanding
Like we mentioned above, jumping in the deep end might not be the best idea. But even asking them over to yours or out for a walk might end up with a resounding ‘no’.
The more someone rejects us like this, it’s super easy to take it personally, but the important thing to remember is that helping most people takes time and patience. Take a step back, take care of you, and then try again a little bit further down the line.
6) Suggest having a chill meet up and chat about what’s going on
Ease them into social stuff by asking them for a chill coffee and a chat about what’s been going on with them. Let them choose a space that they feel comfortable in, whether that’s your front room, in the park or in their favourite cafe place, and let them get to talking about it at their own pace.
7) Read these ideas on how to start the awkward conversations
We know that starting a conversation with anyone about something intense can be difficult. We’ve got you covered though. Give this article a read about how to have a conversation about mental health with someone, because we know it can be really uncomfortable.
Need some confidential advice? Talk to one of our trained Digital Mentors here.