a man supporting his best friend

Check on Your Strong Friends: Why and How You Should Do it

"Even the strongest among us need a gentle 'How are you?' to hold the weight of their world." - Bayu Prihandito

Key Takeaways

  • Even our strong friends need moments where they are not the ones offering support but receiving it. A sincere "How are you?" can make a world of difference.
  • Sending a simple, specific offer of help or listening without judgment can be vital ways to support someone accustomed to being the strong one.
  • Encouraging your friends to seek professional guidance when they show signs of deep distress acknowledges the seriousness of mental health and demonstrates care.

Check on your strong friends—the ones who stand as pillars in your community, offering shoulders to lean on and support without flinch. Their resilience is often a cloak that hides their own battles, and it's easy to overlook the cracks in their armor.

As a holistic life coach and through my work at Life Architekture, I've come to realize that strength isn't an infinite resource. Today, let's talk about the significance of checking in—your compassion could be the lifeline someone's been waiting for.

Why Check on Your Strong Friends

It's a truth universally acknowledged that in our communities, certain friends wear the label of the 'strong one.' You know who they are—they're the person who always lends an ear, gives sage advice, and seems unshakable.

But have you considered that these strong friends, despite their outward appearance, might be silently struggling? It's not only about lending support; it's about recognizing that everyone needs a check-in, especially those who never ask. Checking on your friends is a simple act that reinforces community bonds, validates feelings of strength, and sustains mental health.

Man hiding his worries amongst friends during get together

They Might Not Ask for Help

Appearances are deceiving; the strong friend in your social circle may not overtly express their needs or seek support. It's often misconstrued that they have everything under control. However, their resilience can sometimes create a barrier.

It's critical to remind oneself that strength does not equal omnipotence. A simple 'How are you really doing?' can signal to them that you see beyond the facade and that you’re a safe harbor for their vulnerabilities. Remember, community care starts with proactive gestures of empathy.

Strength Doesn't Mean Invincible

Defining someone solely by their strength does them a disservice; it negates the complexity of their human experience. Just like anyone else, your friend also faces challenges, health concerns, and moments of doubt. They may stand tall, but no one is immune to the storms of life. Your role? Be the friend who brings an umbrella on a sunny day, just in case. Reaching out extends a lifeline, showing that it's okay to not always be okay, even for the one who usually has it all together.

Supporting Their Mental Health

Your mindfulness can be a beacon for those caught in feelings of despair or sadness. Mental health isn't always public, but small signs—a shift in mood, withdrawal, or a change in behavior can offer a glimpse into their struggle.

As a life coach, I've learned that emotional well-being comes from being seen and heard. Checking on your strong friends is more than a courtesy; it's a necessary extension of care that validates their emotions and reinforces the message: 'Your feelings matter, and I'm here for that conversation.'

How to Check on Your Strong Friends

When it comes to supporting your friend, the process is less about grand gestures and more about subtle, consistent acts of kindness and understanding. Health and wellness thrive on sincere, simple actions that show you care and love.

Let's look into practical ways to check in on your friends, especially the ones who always project strength. It's about tapping into the heart of our relationships, strengthening bonds, and being there in ways that count.

A girl messaging her friend, checking up on her

Start with a Simple Message

Even the strongest among us cherish a 'thinking of you' message. Such a thoughtful check can illuminate a dark day. Whether it's a text, a call, or a handwritten note, the medium is less important than the intention behind it. Start with something uncomplicated and heartfelt:

  • "Hey, I might not always say it, but I really admire how you handle life's ups and downs. Just wanted to check in—are you doing okay?"
  • "I've been thinking about you and wanted you to know you’re not alone."

These messages open doors for deeper conversations and signal that your support is steady and reliable.

Offer Specific Forms of Help

General offers of help ('Let me know if you need anything') often go unused because they place the burden of asking on your friend. Instead, propose concrete ways you can assist. It demonstrates your willingness to be involved and lightens the load they might feel in asking. Here are some ideas:

Specific OfferWhy It Helps
"I'm free Wednesday evening, can I drop off some dinner at your place?"Shows thoughtful planning and gives a practical hand.
"Would it help if I joined you for your doctor's appointment next week?"Offers emotional support during potentially stressful and anxious times.

It’s these specific actions that exhibit your commitment to their well-being and the strength of your friendship.

Listen Without Judgment

Providing a non-judgmental space is one of the most profound ways to support anyone, especially those who are typically seen as the stronghold. Encourage them to share, but more importantly, be ready to listen actively and empathetically. Practice patience and maintain confidentiality.

The aim is to comfort and understand, not to solve or offer unsolicited advice. Phrases like "I'm here for you, no matter what you need to talk about," can be powerful. It allows them to express vulnerability safely, perhaps something they don't often feel free to do.

Encourage Professional Support If Needed

Recognizing the difference between a rough patch and a serious mental health concern is crucial. As friends, we're an important part of the support network, but we're not trained therapists. If your friend is showing signs of deep distress, it is loving and caring to suggest professional help. Reassure them that seeking guidance for mental health is a strength, not a weakness.

According to recent studies, normalization of therapy can greatly reduce hesitation in seeking help. Gentle nudges towards professional help could be the nudge they need to prioritize their wellness.

woman taking a therapy session on her friend's recommendation

Final Thoughts

Remember, strong friends are often the ones bracing against the fiercest winds. They shield others, sometimes at the risk of their own well-being. Our role in their lives goes beyond shared laughter and good times—it’s about being a source of support when the storm clouds gather.

A check on your friends is a bridge to understanding, a gesture of shared humanity, and a testament to the strength of your bond. So, reach out—you never know how much it might mean to someone who's always been there for everyone else.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is it essential to check on your strong friends?

Even those who appear resilient may face hidden challenges. Checking in provides support, encourages vulnerability, and can be crucial for mental health.

What does "check in on your friends" mean?

Checking in means reaching out to friends proactively to see how they are doing and to offer support or companionship.

How do I approach my strong friend who might not seek help?

Start with a non-intrusive and caring message, and try to offer specific help rather than making a general offer.

Do people appreciate being checked in on?

Yes, most people appreciate knowing someone is thinking of them and values their well-being, even if they don't always show it.

What are some signs that a friend might need more support?

Signs include withdrawal from social interactions, changes in mood or behavior, and talking about feelings of overwhelm or hopelessness.