The news across the UK isn’t looking good — more and more UK consumers are dealing with debt problems. The hardest part? Many of them are falling into a deep depression over them. There are a lot of different reasons for that, but one reason that stands above all the rest is that many people truly believe that they’re alone in their problems. If you have friends that are trying to deal with money problems, you will need to ensure that you’re looking at doing everything you can to encourage them to move onward and upward. Debt is not something that has to be permanent, but it is something that can make you feel like everything is permanent.
What you ultimately want to do from here is sit down with your friend, but that might be hard to do. If you know that they have money woes and they haven’t really said anything to you, it can feel like you’re interrupting them, disturbing them, and even making them feel more frustrated than they did before. Money is a sensitive topic among friends, and people might feel like you’re judging them. There’s nothing to be ashamed of, really — you just need to still ensure that you are taking as delicate of a tone as possible. Make sure that you put yourself in their shoes. How would you feel if people stopped and looked at you with critical eyes when you’re already doing the best that you can?
Being there for friends can also mean just silently listening to them. They might need to vent so they know someone is hearing them. They might want to reach out and be assured that someone knows what type of trouble they’re going through. It’s really a matter of looking at the bigger picture. Supporting your friends is a good way to feel better about yourself, too. There’s nothing better than knowing that you reached out and really influenced someone else. You can do anything you put your mind to, as long as you’re really willing to go the distance to get things done.
When you speak to your friend, make sure that you really work on not sounding condescending at all. They are going through a rough spot, and they just need to be heard. So acting like you don’t know how they could possibly get into debt is something that’s only going to make them feel worse, not better.
If your friend wants you to be their accountability partner, this is a good active role to take. Make sure that you set up a regular time that you both can sit down and chat about finances. If they’re having problems staying on track when they go out, be supportive yet firm. Remind them of the goals that they want to achieve more than anything else. Help them build rewards into the framework. After all, humans are driven by reward. If they know that they are working towards something, they are a lot more likely to get it done than if they were to never receive any type of praise or reward.
Praise is very powerful, and you should take the time to use it generously with your friend. It’s the best way to help them cope with the task of getting out of debt. It’s not fun to always sit out when other people are going around enjoying their lives, but at the end of the day, only you know what your goals really are. Your friend probably has a lot on their plate, but they will appreciate the support. They might be a little too distracted to show it, but they do care about you and they will be grateful for any and all help that you pass their way.
As for your own financial situation, sometimes it’s nice to step away from it and come back with fresh eyes. In fact, some people find that helping their friends through money woes gives them renewed strength to tackle their own — and win! Good luck out there!