When you’re struggling with depression or anything else that may hinder your mental well-being, you want to have a friend beside you that will be a support and encouragement for you. Below I’ve listed three virtues I highly recommend you look for in a friend to walk alongside you during your darkest times.
Honest but Loving
When you are struggling with depression or anxiety, often you are not thinking rationally. Runaway emotions and panic can set you off and cause your mind to imagine the worst possible situation.
You need someone who will be honest with you about what you’re feeling or thinking. Someone who will come alongside you and tell you you’re being irrational, or that you need to take a break. But you also want this person to do it in a loving manner.
Often I tell my kids, “It’s not what you say, but how you say it that matters.” Isn’t that the truth? Two people can say the exact same words, but with different inflection or a high or low tone, it can come across as kind or as terribly mean.
Look for someone in your life who has spoken honestly to you, but in a loving, compassionate manner. This means they express truth to you in love.
Encouraging but Truthful
You want someone who will encourage you but not tell you something that isn’t true. A person who will flatter you in order to make you feel better is no better than someone who outright lies to you. They are placing your feelings over the truth, and that is never a good thing.
You need to be encouraged during times like these. You need to hear positive affirmations, but not at the expense of the truth. Look for someone who will encourage and support you on your journey but will not tell you a lie in order to make you feel better.
A true friend wants to see you grow and flourish while being truthful in their encouragement and support of you.
Confidential but Respectful
This is extremely important. How can you open up to someone if you are afraid they are going to share your life with other people? Sharing your depression and anxiety with someone can leave you feeling extremely vulnerable. You need to be able to trust this person with your life, maybe even some secrets you’ve been hanging onto. You can never fully confide in or share with someone if you do not completely trust them.
On the other hand, this person also needs to respect you enough to tell you if it’s time for you to go see a counselor or a therapist. They need to have your permission to share with your spouse or another significant person in your life if they feel you are going down a harmful path. You will only share with someone else if you know they respect your feelings and you know they will keep them in full confidence.
In my newest course, 5 Keys to Winning the Daily Battle with Depression & Anxiety, I tackle this issue along with 4 others that will help you live a victorious life no matter your circumstances. I would love to have you join me. Click here to learn what’s included in this course (HINT: A 30-minute strategy phone call with me for FREE is just one of the bonuses included.)
Have you found a friend with the virtues I described above? Who helps you with your journey towards peace and strong mental health?