You know that feeling when you’re going through something, and you just need someone to talk to? Someone who will listen, really listen to what you have to say and understand where you’re coming from?

That’s what a supportive friend or an ally is. They’re not judgmental, and they don’t have an ulterior motive in showing that they care for you. They’re just genuine. A supportive friend or an ally is someone who understands who you are and what you need.

Being a supportive friend and ally is extremely important because it helps to create a positive and inclusive environment for everyone. It involves actively listening to others, showing empathy, and standing up for them when necessary.

When you are a supportive friend and ally, you can make a real difference in the lives of others by helping them to feel accepted, understood, and valued. This can be especially important for people who may feel marginalized or disadvantaged in some way, as it can help to boost their self-esteem and sense of belonging.

How to Become A Supportive Friend and An Ally.

Offer Emotional Support

Sometimes we just need to vent. We’re tired, sad, frustrated, or feeling down. Sometimes we just want someone to sit with us and listen to us talk through our feelings. Not just for the sake of listening—but actively listening and trying to understand where we come from. A supportive friend provides a secure environment for you and makes sure to offer comfort when you need it the most.

Listening to someone without judgement and making sure they feel heard takes not much less effort than we think it does. It’s nice to have someone around us who could not only be there for us but also encourage us emotionally to think positive. So, becoming a friend someone can rely you on is the biggest achievement.

Being Able To Stand Up In Difficult Situations

We all get into unfavorable situations sometimes and some people have difficulty speaking up for what we want. It is usually influenced by the environment someone has been brought up in. People with deeper childhood traumas tend to have difficulty standing up against injustice. That’s when you aid you aid your friend. Standing up for someone involves speaking out against injustices, whether it’s bullying or discrimination, and supporting them when they may be facing challenges.

You can help your friend by creating a safe space for them to speak freely about their feelings and experiences that made them feel uncomfortable or unsafe. By listening closely and being willing to discuss the situation with other people who might be able to help, you can help make sure that your friend doesn’t feel alone in their experiences.

Educating Yourself

As someone who supports others, it is important that you educate yourself. This is a very crucial step towards becoming a support system for someone. Educating yourself about different cultures, experiences and perspective is really important because there will be numerous instances that you will come across in your life where you will need to use that knowledge to be more understanding and inclusive of others.

Different people have different backgrounds and experiences, so it is crucial that you learn about them so that you can understand why they might react differently in certain situations. For example, if your friend tells you that they’re going through something difficult and they’re feeling depressed or anxious about it, instead of telling them what they should do or how they should feel, try asking them questions about their problem and listening carefully to their answers. They’ll appreciate your interest and empathy!

This skill is especially important when working with children who may have disabilities or illnesses like autism spectrum disorder (ASD). It’s essential that parents understand what ASD looks like in order to help their children get the best possible treatment possible.

Offer Encouragement And Reassurance

Being a supportive friend and an ally can become difficult sometimes. It feels like there are so many ways you could accidentally say the wrong thing. But don’t worry! We’ve got your back.

When you give someone encouragement, you’re letting them know that you believe in them and their ability to succeed—and that no matter what they’re going through, they’re not alone. It can be done in various ways. You can help your friend by giving them validation when they need it most. Validation conveys that you “get it” and understand the reasons behind a friend’s distress as well as the fact that their feelings are understandable or even natural.

You can reassure someone and validate them by saying things like:

  • I believe in you.
  • I know that what you’re going through is hard—but it’s also temporary.
  • Just know that I’m here for you if you need me.
  • I care about your well-being, and I want to make sure that you know that.

Being a supportive friend and ally requires being open, empathetic, and willing to stand up for what is right, even when it may be difficult or unpopular. It is an important part of building strong, healthy relationships and creating a more inclusive and compassionate society.

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Ruchi Rathor

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