I keep thinking of a way to solve the problem

I’m sad because of what my best friend is going through. She broke up with her boyfriend and has changed a lot. She doesn’t talk to anyone in our class and no one wants to talk to her. She was a very good student but after the break-up she is not interested in studies. I keep thinking of a way to solve her problem due to which I am not able to concentrate on my studies. Please help us.
Disha (16)

Dear Disha,

It is wonderful to see how you are standing by your friend in her difficult time. Not being able to solve her problem is making you quite sad and frustrated. Unfortunately, it is not possible to solve someone else’s problem for them. It is possible to support them through the tough period.

She needs time to work through her own feelings. She has become silent because she is bottling up her feelings inside her instead of expressing them. If she is willing, encourage her to seek help either from the school/college counsellor or any other counsellor.

As a friend, you can encourage her to talk whenever she feels ready. When she does, help her to voice her feelings; does she feel angry, hurt, dejected, rejected…? Avoid giving any advice. She may possibly be blaming herself, thinking she is a fool, or feeling she is not good enough. Right now, she may not be interested in anything, but gradually if you can do some activities together such as going for a walk (if possible) or joining a yoga class, it would be a great start. You could do some mandala colouring together; or if she prefers it, encourage her to write. Slowly draw her attention to the world outside by talking about casual things. You just being there for her is the best help.

Most importantly, keep a close watch for any signs that she may harm herself in any way. If you suspect that she might, immediately break confidence and inform the counsellor/her or your parents/your teacher/any trusted adult.

Nasreen Hashambhoy
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Nasreen Hashambhoy

Nasreen Hashambhoy is a Counsellor, Life Coach and a Facilitator of training programmes for schools and corporates. Through a combination of coaching, counselling and facilitation techniques based on cognitive science and positive psychology, she helps clients achieve their true potential. She is the author of the series Values In Action published by Better Yourself Books.