This is an email from The Forge Daily Tip, a newsletter by Forge.

An unexpected question to ask a friend who’s struggling

💬 Tip: When a friend is upset, try asking: “Do you want to talk about it or be distracted from it?”

If a person you love comes to you with a problem, you might think the only correct response is to drop what you’re doing, grab a chair, and ask them for every single detail so you can analyze every possible solution. But that might not be what your friend needs—or even wants. A better approach is to first see what they’re looking for. Reddit user Dykejoon suggests asking: “Do you want to talk about it or be distracted from it?” If they want to talk about it, proceed as you were. But if they’d prefer a diversion? Well, then it’s time to bake some cookies or watch Mare of Easttown or tell them an embarrassing story from your teen years. Because the best way to help someone is to meet them where they are.

🤝 More from Forge on being a better friend:

Give Your Friend the Gift of Boundaries

How Ranking Your Friendships Can Make You a Better Friend

‘Stretching’ Is the Key to Long-Lasting Friendships

The Forge Daily Tip is sent every morning via email. ☀️ Subscribe to the Forge Daily Tip here.

You’re subscribed to receive emails from Forge. You can adjust your settings via the link at the bottom of this email.

Author of Horizontal Parenting: How to Entertain Your Kid While Lying Down (Chronicle Books)