Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Practical Advice for Your Friends

Friends often mean well and sincerely want to help, but they don't know how. This can bring added stress and pain to you. H. Norman Wright had a person come to him with this dilemma:

"I'm going through a divorce. Recently, I ran into seven of my friends throughout the course of the day, and every friend asked, 'What's going on? Tell me about it,' so I went through the whole story with each one. By the end of that day I felt terrible. The reason was that with every friend I went through the situation and experienced the pain again, so I was more depressed at the end of the day. What can I do about this?"

Mr. Wright suggests: "Write a letter to your friends describing what is going on and what you are feeling. Write down the best way for your friends to respond because sometimes they give you unsolicited, undesired, inappropriate advice, and that's not what you need. As you meet your friends or fellow employees, instead of having to go through it again and again, give them the letter. Your friends will be appreciative because often they don't know how to act. You will get a greater amount of healthy support."

Consider writing a letter of this type not only to help your friends, but also to help you. Even if you never end up handing out a copy, the exercise will help you recognize what it is that you expect and need from your friends.

"A friend loves at all times" (Proverbs 17:17).

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