Students often want to know how to help a friend who is in a bad relationship, has disordered eating, feels depressed, anxious, or is otherwise seriously overwhelmed and stressed. Here are some general guidelines with tips about what to do—and not do—if you have a friend you’re worried about.
Guiding Principles for Helping a Friend
What You Can Do
- Prioritize your self-care and well-being.
- Be the kind of friend that you have the capacity to be; emphasis on being a friend, not a counselor or doctor.
- Be a role model for positive choices—in your relationships, eating and body image, and in your stress management.
- Avoid “fat” talking, criticism of other people’s bodies (or your own), or conversations about calories.
- Listen, listen, listen, without trying to persuade.