There are many ways to be there for someone, but to truly be there for someone is much different. That ultimate sincerity is what makes the difference. Here are 7 ways our Teen Line Volunteers show up for people they care about.
- “To show that you truly care about someone, be attentive of what they say in conversations. If they tell you that they’re stressed for their AP test next week, take note of that and send them an encouraging text on the day of. If they tell you that they’re having a bad day, follow up and ask them why!” – Adia, age 15
- “Listen to what people don’t say, and then talk about that.” -Kimia, 17
- ” I think that one of the best things to do if someone you love is really hurting is to physically be with them––go over to their house (with their permission of course), bring them their favorite ice cream, movies, really just anything that makes them happy. Even if you show up and the person doesn’t want to talk about their feelings or even talk at all, just having the physical presence of someone else there can be so comforting and shows that they have someone who cares and who wants to spend time with them. If you can’t see someone in person, then calling them still shows that you want to hear about their problems and truly care about them. Choosing to spend time with and talk to that person over everything else is what will make them feel loved and supported.” – Eva, age 17
- “Let someone you care about know that you love them and that you’re there for them. These are things that you might think they already know, but sometimes all you need is a reminder that you’re not alone.” Izzy, age 17
- “Really being there for someone is showing you care through your actions. If you see that they posted on their spam account three times in one day (when they’re usually inactive), FaceTime them and just ask how their day was. If you know they have an important test coming up that they’re worried about, text them good luck the day of. It’s talking on the phone to a friend who is at home struggling with math homework and impromtu-ly coming over with coffee in-hand. It’s sending links to Spotify songs that remind you of them or make you think of a good memory the two of you had. Sometimes the best way to cheer someone up, is to just p h y s i c a l l y be there for them:)” Chelsea, 16.
- “Take the time to actually listen to someone. Don’t judge or switch the topic away from them. Just let them know that they can come to you for anything.” Kiera, age 16
- “Even if the person you are trying to help is struggling through something that might seem small or insignificant: try your very best to take them seriously. They might be going through something that is a massive deal for them, so try to put yourself into their shoes as best as you can.” Hayden, age 17
What might work with one friend might not work with another. Use your good judgment. Being there for your friend or loved one starts with listening. Let them feel heard and validated. Listening might not make all their problems go away but it will make them feel better.
If you do feel overwhelmed, consider calling or giving out Teen Line’s number. Our trained teens are available via talk, text and email. Call 800-852-8336 from 6:00pm to 10:00pm PST or text “TEEN” to 839863 6:00pm to 9:00pm PST. To email our teens visit, https://teenlineonline.org/talk-now/