If someone calls you in the middle of the night, when you are sound asleep and see the sweetest dreams your first reaction will be most likely to send a calling person to…some other place, at least. However, if the calling one is your friend who got into trouble and who desperately need your support, your duty is to discard the dreams and accept the role of psychologist.
Lot’s of people, me included, can hardly find any words of consolation when something bad has happened. However, thanks to some observations I understood that it is not required much from you to perform the role of a life buoy.
The first thing which is needed from you is to listen attentively. In most cases your friend just wants to speak out and be heard by some compassionate ears. You should only make some remarks from time to time, like “I understand you”, “Unbelievable” and so on. This monologue-like conversational will reveal your friend from his emotional burden.
Everyone who gets into trouble think that their experience is unique and usually does not want to hear that their personal disaster is a common practice. So, avoid mentioning that you know similar cases or have experienced something of this kind yourself, or the person may think that you underestimate his sufferings and get offended.
Finally, observe your own emotional state. If you start feeling poor and miserable it means that you have accepted a part of negative energy from your friend which can cause depression. If you feel emotionally drained, make a break in your supportive mission and recharge energy. Otherwise, you will not be able to help anyone as you will have to help yourself instead.
All in all, the psychological first aid is not so difficult to perform – you should be silently supportive, treat someone’s troubles with respect and attention, and be ears.