Friends in Low Places

So much of the time I write about YOUR happiness. How you can increase it in your life, how you can appreciate it more. But I rarely write about happiness other than your own. Probably because in a way it seems uncontrollable—you can’t make someone feel a certain way. Of course, I believe happiness is contagious and should be shared whenever possible. But what do you do when you have a friend who is clearly unhappy? Is there something you can do?

I don’t think fighting for someone’s happiness is a lost cause. Of course, it’s ultimately up to them to decide how they want to feel but I think it’s our job as friends to sweep our friends up when they’re feeling down. So what can we do? Sunny Suggestions to the rescue:

1. Offer to do what they normally love: If they’re a fro-yo fan or they love watching a certain TV show, make yourself available and just be with them. It’s best to keep the activity simple too—if your friend is feeling low, chances are they won’t want to get dragged out on the town. Just chill.

2. Talk it out: Sometimes that’s the best remedy—just being able to vent in a safe environment. Be a trustworthy friend. And if they don’t feel like sharing, don’t force it. Let them come to you when they’re ready.

3. Give them space: In college we don’t get much alone time. Sometimes people just need to be alone with their thoughts. Give them the space to do that.

4. Write a nice note: Reading a kind message can be extremely powerful—and it lasts longer than talking. When someone is upset, it can be the perfect time to express what you love about the person and how much they mean to you.

5. Don’t shove your happiness in their face: When you’ve had a hard day, there can be nothing worse than a friend who shines it on about what a perfect day they’ve had. Be mindful of where other people are at; when people are in low places, it can be best to meet in the middle rather than expect them to come to the top.

If you have a friend who’s been feeling a little low lately, I hope these ideas will help turn their attitude around. As I said, there’s only so much that we can do as friends but we should always try to make a positive impact with what we CAN do. Friendship can be a wonderful source of healing and comfort and often our bonds grow stronger in times of trouble.

May we take pride in our lives, realize the power of our dreams, and celebrate happiness today and every day!

Keep shining,

The Sunny Girl, Lauren Cook

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