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Meandering thoughts of a Bay Area college student… be prepared for some bipolar vocabulary

Rule of Friendship #6

#6

Know when your friend wants advice… and know what to say when they’re down. When a friend is down, he or she may be just asking for someone to listen. Someone to… maybe take their side. That’s the job of a friend. Know when to be honest, but know when to be all, “YES, I totally agree with you. That was total B.S.”

There are many ways to cheer up a friend. Saying “I know how you feel…” IS NOT ONE OF THEM. In my honest opinion, it is one of THE WORST things to say.

“Yeah I know how you feel. I remember one time when ____ happened to me, and I was…” Oh God, shut up! Last time I checked, this was about me. I’m the one that’s sad. Don’t tell me you know how I feel. Sure, I feel better when someone comments on a problem of mine by saying, “Duude, I’ve been through that before also. Hope you get better.” But… that’s different. That won’t fly when you’re talking to someone in person. It could work if they had a rough day, but not if they’re broken and in tears.

Sometimes, I think the best way to cheer someone up is to get their mind off of things. If they wanted to talk to you about it, they will. In the meantime, grab some frozen yogurt, or coffee, or invite them over for a mindless 3 hours of video games.

So, rule #6: know when and when not to give advice and for heaven’s sake, don’t say “I know how you feel.”

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