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💬 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…


💡 Tip: Instead of saying “Here’s what helped me,” try asking “What’s helped you before?”

When friends and colleagues come to us with problems, we often—with the best intentions!—make it about ourselves. “Oh yes, that happened to me once. So what I did was …”

A better approach comes from…


Photo: mladenbalinovac / Getty Images

The anniversary of 9/11 is punctuating a difficult week. Fires are raging. The presidential election is getting uglier. Parents are sacrificing income for at-home learning. The scourge of police violence continues.

For those with underlying stresses, from health issues to financial hardship, the state of the world may feel unbearable.


It’s not your job to fix their problems

Photo: DutcherAerials/Getty Images

When a friend is going through a hard time, you likely won’t be able to make the situation better.

It can be hard to accept, but you’ll both be better off if you do. Because then you can turn to what’s within your power: You might be helpless to change…


There’s another option, called ‘tend and befriend’

Photo: Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images

Several years ago, I confessed to my therapist at the time that I was nervous about an upcoming flight. It was my first time traveling solo, and I couldn’t stop worrying about being left to fend for myself if something terrible happened.

My therapist’s suggestion was a simple one: If…


Small actions can have an outsize impact

An adult woman on the phone looking at her laptop on the dining table while her son uses a digital tablet.
Photo: 10'000 Hours/DigitalVision/Getty Images

Let’s face it: Things weren’t exactly feeling cheerful for most of us before the coronavirus hit, what with a fraught election, the climate crisis, and — well, you can choose whichever social issue currently troubles you most. There’s no shortage.

Add a global pandemic, and it’s easy to feel like…


Try to collect as many of them as possible. Really.

Photo: Nicolas McComber / Getty Images

When I didn’t get a job I thought I was a shoo-in for, I didn’t call a friend to vent my frustration. I didn’t ask for a pep talk. In fact, I told exactly no one what had happened, instead falling into a private tailspin of doubt: I really thought…

Forge

A publication from Medium on personal development.

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