Do you have a girlfriend who recently lost her job? There are times when it’s easy to help a girlfriend. There are times when it is much harder to know what to do or say. We want to offer the best friendship we can, but we have no idea what that might be.
Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life. – Confucius
Guest blogger MAIRE HUNTER recognizes some situations are harder than others and she offers great advice for being a great girlfriend to a friend who’s recently lost her job. What are your tips for helping a friend in this situation?
“You’re fired.” “You’re being let go.” “The company is downsizing.” These are all phrases that strike fear into the hearts of workers everywhere, and in the current rocky economy they’re being heard more and more frequently. But as much as we hope to never have these words spoken to us, chances are someone in our lives will hear them at some point. And what if it’s your best girlfriend?
When a close friend loses her job, it can be hard to know exactly what to do for her or how to act around her. You want her to know you support her and are there for her, but you also don’t want to be oppressive or bossy. Read on for a few tips on how to express your support and concern for your friend without stepping on her toes.
Give her space
When your friend first loses her job, your inclination might be to rush right over to her house to console her. But that may not be the best idea. Some people prefer to be alone while they process difficult emotions, so give her a few days or a week before you try to make plans with her. Having said that …
Make concrete plans
When your friend is going through a difficult time, she may feel that making plans with you is just one more thing added to her lengthy to-do list. Instead, you should be the one to set up a time and place to get together. In other words, don’t just say, “Let’s have lunch sometime!” Send her an email invite with a time and place for your lunch date, and call her the day before to make sure you’re still on. She’ll appreciate both the time with you and the fact that she didn’t have to make the reservations herself.
Remind her to take care of herself
One of the best things you can do for your friend is to help her take care of herself during this difficult time. Hit the gym together or take a stroll around the neighborhood. Offer to fix dinner for her and her family one night. Loan her your favorite books or DVDs to help take her mind off the stress.
Offer your help; repeat as necessary
Your friend probably has a lot on her plate: looking for job postings online and in the paper, attending job fairs and networking events, updating her resume and LinkedIn profile — all of this takes time and energy. If you can find a way to help your friend with any of these tasks — without being too intrusive — she’ll surely appreciate it. And don’t be afraid to repeat your offer if she doesn’t take you up on it the first time; she might be concerned about burdening you, so it’s important to be clear that you want to help.
When a dear friend goes through a trying time, it can be hard to know how best to support her. But the most important thing you can do is to be present and let her know you’re not going anywhere. With just a few small gestures, you can offer your friend comfort and stability during her time of need.
MAIRE HUNTER is a blogger and travel enthusiast who lives in Indianapolis when she’s not off gallivanting around the world. She enjoys sharing her travel tips and adventures with her readers on behalf of HCC Medical. She’s also an animal lover and shares a domicile with her gigantic orange cat, Walter.
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