If you’re afraid that someone you know isn’t in a good head space at the moment, it’s relatively easy to reach out to them and check in. But one thing you’ll want to make sure is that they don’t actually think you’re a good person to go to for help, because that’s clearly not the case. Here’s how to tow that very narrow line!
Let them know you’re there for them, metaphorically.
If you see someone who’s struggling, let them know that you feel for them and that you’d really like to help, but that you’re probably not the best person to do that for them. Give this person a pat on the back, some general words of encouragement, or a hypothetical shoulder to cry on, even though you’re not really equipped to help them in any way, shape, or form. Say, “Reach out anytime” but then add, “But I’m really trying to go on my phone less so I might not see it.”
Make it clear that you aren’t okay either.
Before you give them any advice, make sure to tell them that you’re also not in a great place right now, and they should probably only take what you’re about to say to them with a tiny grain of salt. After all, you’re definitely struggling too, and they deserve to know that before they listen to anything you say. If anything, they should help you.
Point them in the direction of someone more capable than you.
Now this part is crucial. This person obviously needs actual help from a level-headed, productive, positive person, and not you, so after you’ve checked in on them, do them a huge favor by suggesting a few people who they should talk to instead, like a therapist, or one of your “mom friends”. After hearing some of your upbeat friend Sharon’s wisdom, they’ll be good in no time! Also they should let you know what Sharon says.
So if you want to ask if someone’s okay but you want to make it very clear that you’re also a terrible person to go to for any kind of help or solace, then follow these steps to ensure that they go to someone else, and quickly!