pasti ada saat-saat di mana teman kita mengalami hal yang berat, yang
membutuhkan pertolongan dan dukungan dari kita sebagai teman. Kadang tanpa kita
sadari, maksud baik menolong malah semakin membuat teman bersedih atau
menyakiti hatinya. Nah lho! Lantas, gimana sebaiknya kita bersikap, apa yang
mesti kita katakan, dan apa yang mesti dihindari saat teman membutuhkan
Tulisan di bawah
ini saya kutip dari Australian Women Weekly edisi September 2006 (ada sisipan khusus
Oprah Special tentang “Friendship”—kayaknya pernah ditayangkan di Oprah).
Artikelnya bagus, meski ada beberapa hal yang mungkin kurang sesuai dengan
kultur kita, tapi secara umum sangat menambah wawasan dan bisa diambil yang
sesuai buat kita. Fuiihh, saya sering bingung soalnya kalau ada teman yang
mengalami situasi berat dan perlu pertolongan yang tepat. Artikel ini cukup
Ada juga kisah
persahabatan Oprah dan Gayle AWW edisi ini. Menarik (saya terobsesi dengan
persahabatan kayak mereka soale, hehe). Nanti nyusul deh ringkasannya saya
posting. Yang ini dulu aja...
How to Help a Friend...
1. ...who’s depressed
What you can do:
difference between a friend who’s having a bad week and one who’s clinically
depressed. Depression is when a person wants to sleep all day or not at all.
She can’t eat or she eats too much. She can’t function. If this is the case,
you ca’t cure her, but neither should you desert her.
she can’t leave the house, stop by with coffee. You might get annoyed if she;s
sitting like a blob, but this is an illness. It’s not easy to keep plugging
away, but just saying, “I’ll be calling you tomorrow at 10” makes her feel
What you can say:
her to seek professional help. Offer to accompany her to her first appointment.
Sit in the waiting room—make that a part of spending an afternoon together, or
say, “I’m going up the street, I’ll be back in an hour, and we can go have
urge your friend to “snap out of it”. Often the person doens’t know wht she’s
depressed, and these kinds of comments just make her feel guilty.
2. ...who’s in an abusive relationship
important to be a stable presence. A friend who is consistent, reliable, and
gentle. Even down to her tone of voice, is a profound source of comfort for
someone dealing with an abuser’s volatile moods.
your friend is open with you about her situation, you can help her plan an
escape by getting spare car keys, duplicate ID and a stash of cash that she can
keep in her car or at your house—all things she’ll need if he locks her out or
she has to leave her house in a hurry.
a 24-hour domestic abuse crisis hotline to educate yourself, then give her a
number. A hotline can be more helpful than friends or family, because many
volunteers have been abused themselves and understand the fear and pain and
chaos. Offer to let her call from your house.
touch her arm, look her in the eye, and say, “If you need me, I’m here for
you”. That will open the door. Eye contact is very, very important. If she
senses you’re uncomfortable, she’ll never go to you. Don’t ask an open ended question like “What’s
going on?”, because she’ll lie.
ask why she doesn’t just leave, because living with an abuser is like being in
a concentration camp. There are consequences. “My abuser copied my whole
address book, waved it in front of me, and said, ‘If you leave, somebody will
pay.’ I knew he was capable of ugly things,” says Smieja, a public speaker and
educator on domestic violence—and an abuse survivor herself.
each other’s company on the cheap. Take a walk. Get you nails done for 10
bucks. And unless it’s her birthday, don’t treat her—that will only make her
feel less empowered. Money really is power, and you have to be sensitive to
about money is the last taboo. It’s like talking to teenagers—never ask a
direct question. Get her to open up by discussing your own financial
she’s a responsible person and faces with an unexpected shot-term problem say,
she totalled her car and needs help with the down payment on a new one—dont
loan her money. Money problems are often about something else; if you take
over, you may be solving the wrong problem.
support emotionally and help her find a financial counsellor. Avoid hindsight
advice such as, “You should have bought an apartment,” says Shana, who is
coping with financial problems after a job loss. We all look back and know what
we could have done better.
Even if your friend doesn’t need help with a capital H, she can still use
your support if she...
often feel guilty about doing well because we’ve been conditioned to expect
envy from our friends. So take yourself out of the equation; this is no time
your pal a gift, take her to dinner, throw her a party. Emily, a NYC writer,
gave a close friend a pendant engraved with the word yes to celebrate the
friend’s first published book. ‘The world has said yes to her talent, and I
wanted to say yes, too.”
effusive. “Good for you!” and “aren’t you glad you persevered?” and “what a
wonderful success!” can be said to many times.
clear of any question that isn’t in the “Don’t feel terrific?” vein. For
example, “Is that enough?” in response to news of a friend’s raise is
completely deflating. And remember that how you speak is as important as what
you say. “That was a long time coming” can sound congratulatory, or it can
imply that your friend was remiss in not earning her success quickly enough.
5. ...who’s trying to make a big decision
5. ...who’s trying to make a big decision
What you can do:
her discomfort. Whether she’s weighing a new job or a cross-country move, the
state of being between one thing and another is likely to make her cranky. The
problem is that your friend sees the change as monumental—as one big leap,
instead of as a series of small, manageable steps. So, anything you can do to
clear the path will help her. Is she thinking about starting to date again?
Write the personal ad.
her of her strengths. Be a cheerleader. And let her know that she can pick
herself up even if the worst happens. People do remarkably well even when
things go badly.
a little affectionate nagging is okay, take care not to browbeat. Above all,
keep in mind that your friends life isn’t yours. Don’t substitute your goals