We all have issues. No person is perfect. We need to remember when someone is struggling; it is an opportunity to help. Saying someone else’s issues are less important or their issues are self-inflected is keeping us from really helping them. We need to remember there are reasons why others are having issues and we are not to judge them for what happens to them. Some reasons could be:

Decision – they may have made the wrong decision and the outcome was not one that was favorable.

Direction – they may have followed the wrong crowd who led them to the point they are in life.

Desire – they may have really wanted something they would benefit them but it didn’t work out.

There are many other reasons but what we need to realize is that suffering isn’t always due to what someone did or didn’t do. The main thing we need to do is to look for ways to help them without being judgmental. The steps below can help us to help them.

Listen Carefully – it is so common for us to want to talk when we should be listening. Sometimes we think we know what is going on with someone without taking time to listen to them. Hearing their story, listening to what is on their minds and not speaking until they are done will allow them to get everything out.

Ask Questions – when we ask questions, we gain clarity but we also help the other person figure things out. Asking open ended questions where they can’t just answer yes or no will get them talking more and thinking more about what to do.

Provide Guidance – if this situation has happened to you, share your story. If you know of someone else who has had this situation happen in their lives, share their story. When others know they are not alone, it will help them better cope with the situation and see there is a way out.

We all need to realize struggles can lead to successes in life when we look at them as learning opportunities. There is nothing new anyone has to go through that hasn’t been an issue before for someone else. Others may feel like they are having to deal with problems all alone but we can help them realize they can learn from their struggles and move on.

Being a friend to someone who is having trouble requires us to be disciplined enough not to judge them, and to truly want to help them work things out. We all have that ability in us and there is probably someone right now in our life who needs our help.

Today, seek out opportunities to help someone without judging and remember to listen, ask questions and provide guidance so they will know they are not alone. Doing this can really make a difference.