Ask James: How can I be there if I can’t actually BE there?

James Newman, Advice Columnist

Dear James, 

What can I do when I want to be there for my friend but I can’t be there to help?

– from A Worried Friend.


There are so many things you can do to be there for your friend if you can’t physically be there to help them. When someone is going through something it’s important to understand that everyone is different and that they have different needs. But almost always people need to feel like they have someone there with them. So facetime and text and just connect with them. No one likes to be in a hurricane of emotions and feel like they’re alone. You can be there to help them out of that storm. Some other things that you can do are, help them find better options for help, perhaps a therapist, listen to them when they are venting to you, do things with them, get them gifts, find things to bring them joy, and again just be there for them. You must always remember that some people may not want your help and may like to be stuck in that hurricane. So just understand that if you have tried your best wholeheartedly after that it’s up to them to take and embrace your help.