Stress Awareness Week: How to tell if your friend is stressed!

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parmezanne
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Stress is a part of life which, generally, in small doses, is healthy. However, sometimes, when it stretches out too long, or is for an unimportant reason, something might be up. It happens to everyone - so if you lean on a friend with your stresses and worries, it's important to remember that your friend might be shouldering their own problems too

Here are some useful ways to tell if your friend is stressed. If you can think of any other signs, put them in the comments below to help others who may be experiencing a similar situation! :yep:

1. Not having time for you. It might just be that they can't go to the park or go shopping with you that day because they have 'too much on their plate'. If they do tell you this, make allowances, because they might have a lot of work to do. Your trip out can wait, plus you've probably been in their situation before. The important thing is to remind them to take some relaxation time out. It doesn't have to be spent with you, but it should occur once every day for at least an hour (preferably before bedtime).


2. Being on edge, or generally zoning out. They may have a lot on their mind - don't call them out in a mean way for it, simply ask them gently if they are ok and if they want to talk about it. Ask them if there is anything you can do to help - it doesn't just have to be school work / employment that they are stressed about, it might be things going on at home. Ask them if they want you to walk the dog, or help them with a test, or come over and help clean the kitchen. It will be one less thing off of their plate - and a problem shared is a problem halved.


3. They may say 'I'm fine' and then not develop their answer, or be quieter than usual. If someone hesitates for a few seconds, and then replies quickly with an 'I'm fine', you can almost guarantee that they are not fine. Ask them to talk about their week or what's happening to them, gently encouraging them to open up to you. Don't forcefully ask 'WHY ARE YOU STRESSED', but encourage openness and resolution. Try to reason with them and dissect the roots of their stress, so that it's a more manageable situation for them: their minds may be super foggy if they are stressed with the amount of things they are thinking about so for them to be able to open up is super important!


4. Rudeness, mean or sarky comments. These are all partially a result of their stress - if you know your friend isn't usually this way, then don't be fooled into thinking that this is the person they have become overnight. They are still your friend and most likely the same person - but the hormones from the stress may just be the trigger for them to say something nasty to you which they may take seconds, weeks, or never to regret. Be reasonable and understand that they are simply having a lot to deal with - mention that it's not ok for them to take it out on you but you understand what they are going through and are determined to help them get through it.


5. Belittling your problems. Usually, a friend is a shoulder to cry on - so when they say 'that's nothing' or 'who even cares' to your problems, they are likely going through something worse. Although it doesn't make it right and a problem is a problem, mention to them gently that it's a problem to you, and ask them to talk to you about their problems so that you can work them out together. They may feel very alone if they have a lot to do / deal with, so it's important for you to make them feel comforted, and give them encouragement that the stress is only temporary.
Last edited by DrawTheLine; 2 years ago
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#2
(Original post by yzanne)
Stress is a part of life which, generally, in small doses, is healthy. However, sometimes, when it stretches out too long, or is for an unimportant reason, something might be up. It happens to everyone - so if you lean on a friend with your stresses and worries, it's important to remember that your friend might be shouldering their own problems too

Here are some useful ways to tell if your friend is stressed. If you can think of any other signs, put them in the comments below to help others who may be experiencing a similar situation! :yep:

1. Not having time for you. It might just be that they can't go to the park or go shopping with you that day because they have 'too much on their plate'. If they do tell you this, make allowances, because they might have a lot of work to do. Your trip out can wait, plus you've probably been in their situation before. The important thing is to remind them to take some relaxation time out. It doesn't have to be spent with you, but it should occur once every day for at least an hour (preferably before bedtime).


2. Being on edge, or generally zoning out. They may have a lot on their mind - don't call them out in a mean way for it, simply ask them gently if they are ok and if they want to talk about it. Ask them if there is anything you can do to help - it doesn't just have to be school work / employment that they are stressed about, it might be things going on at home. Ask them if they want you to walk the dog, or help them with a test, or come over and help clean the kitchen. It will be one less thing off of their plate - and a problem shared is a problem halved.


3. They may say 'I'm fine' and then not develop their answer, or be quieter than usual. If someone hesitates for a few seconds, and then replies quickly with an 'I'm fine', you can almost guarantee that they are not fine. Ask them to talk about their week or what's happening to them, gently encouraging them to open up to you. Don't forcefully ask 'WHY ARE YOU STRESSED', but encourage openness and resolution. Try to reason with them and dissect the roots of their stress, so that it's a more manageable situation for them: their minds may be super foggy if they are stressed with the amount of things they are thinking about so for them to be able to open up is super important!


4. Rudeness, mean or sarky comments. These are all partially a result of their stress - if you know your friend isn't usually this way, then don't be fooled into thinking that this is the person they have become overnight. They are still your friend and most likely the same person - but the hormones from the stress may just be the trigger for them to say something nasty to you which they may take seconds, weeks, or never to regret. Be reasonable and understand that they are simply having a lot to deal with - mention that it's not ok for them to take it out on you but you understand what they are going through and are determined to help them get through it.


5. Belittling your problems. Usually, a friend is a shoulder to cry on - so when they say 'that's nothing' or 'who even cares' to your problems, they are likely going through something worse. Although it doesn't make it right and a problem is a problem, mention to them gently that it's a problem to you, and ask them to talk to you about their problems so that you can work them out together. They may feel very alone if they have a lot to do / deal with, so it's important for you to make them feel comforted, and give them encouragement that the stress is only temporary.
thanks for the tips
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