Should I help my friend or not?

14 Jul
Name Confidential

Recently, a friend confided in me about the problems in his family. His father is addicted to alcohol, and there are a lot of fights. It has a very bad effect on his psychological health, seeing all the problems at home. One day after a huge fight with his mom and sister, his father left. He confided in me and was asking for my help. He doesn't know whether he should get his father back home, or let it be. While I want to help, I really do not want to intervene in family matters. What if something I say has a negative impact on the situation? What can I do?

Responses 9

  • Aishwarya K
    Aishwarya K   Aug 07, 2017 02:05 AM

    Hey, it sounds like your friend is going through a rough phase. It must be difficult to see your parents fight which leads to your mother crying. Honestly, there is not much anyone can do about the fights except for the parents themselves because it is very natural for couples to fight.

    Being in an environment where you hear your parents fight constantly can be disturbing. It can cause your friend to have problems regulating his emotions. This means that he will often be confused on how he should react and these reactions may or may not be socially tolerable. You need to help create a positive, friendly environment for him outside of his home where he is able to forget about his parent’s fights. He should focus on building healthy relationships with his friends. Some distraction will be helpful for him to deal with problems at home.

    Additionally, he should also discuss how she feels about his parents fighting with someone openly. If he wants to know the reason behind their fights then he can take the chance of talking to either parent when they are calm, however he needs to keep in mind that he may not get the answers that he wants. Therefore, he needs to be prepared.

  • Shreya Narayanan
    Shreya Narayanan   Aug 05, 2017 07:17 PM

    As his trusted and close friend you must help him,not just him but his mother and sister too. A person at his most vulnerable,and when he asks you for some help,consider yourself lucky because out of everyone he chose to trust you because he has faith in you.


    You need to be with him till he and his family members calm down. After that,you need to go with an elderly person and enquire the whereabouts of his father.

    His father desperately needs medical attention and hence must be taken to some organisation which reduces or fully stops unhealthy alcoholism.

    Secondly,his mother, especially her sister might be mentally affected by the trauma and pain caused by her husband and father respectively,to reduce those feelings,they need to be taken to a psychologist and given therapy sessions on how to calm their nerves down and to remove such horrendous tragic incidents from their memories,and also to give them immense courage on how to face them the next time anything like that happens.

    And for you my friend,you've been brave and patient enough to deal with this incident,very heroically you have managed to help your friend come out of this situation without making him feel embarrassed about it. Proud of you.


  • Sukanya Mitra
    Sukanya Mitra   Jul 26, 2017 10:09 PM


    I understand what are you going through.

    and it's okay to think like that.

    see I cannot help you with a direct answer because I am not well versed with the whole scenario. what I can help is to increase the power within yourself to decide what is good for you

    see, whenever you are in dilemma, start weighing pros and cons of the situation. take a paper and note down the pros and cons. see which is heavier and then go with it.

    helping is good. but you should keep in mind that may be it would not go in the way you expected.  before indulging think carefully and once you commit yourself if you see things are going wrong way apologize for that and get out of that.

    one more thing you can do is to listen to his problem if you don't want to help. listening always doesn't mean to help. but when you listen to someone you ease his/her pain. so you can say your friend that see I don't know how to help you but definitely, I can lend you an ear. by this, you can be on safe side as well as help your friend let out his sorrow.

    hope this answer helps you. glad you shared with us :)

    take care...

  • Devanshi Padaliya
    Devanshi Padaliya   Jul 21, 2017 03:31 PM

    Hi! Hope you are doing well. Your concern here for not advising anything wrong and not wanting to indulge in any of your friend's family matters is  genuine and mutual. Anybody in your situation would have felt the same way. 

    But as your friend approached you with such an private problem of his,he shared his family issues with you,   he is really wanting help. You must not take a step back because of the fear of giving him wrong advice rather being his friend you should tell him that you'll be there by his side no matter what happens. You many times its not about how you could help him physically, mentally or financially its just about him knowing that there is someone who he could fall back to if nothing goes right. Just be his support system. 

    As you said his father is addicted to alchohol which he thinks is the reason behind all his family issues,  before doing anything he must talk to his mother and sister about their family and together they should take steps to help his father. As we all know very well that  Alchohol is hazardous to both our physical and mental health. As the concentration of alchohol in blood increases it affects our central nervous system and gradually decreases our responses. 

    There might be various reasons for his father consuming alchohol such as failure to fulfill major role obligations. Maladjustment at work place, inferiority complex or many others. Your friend must talk to his father instead of disregarding him completely he must try and find the reason behind this behaviour of his father. Once his father feels accepted and is ready to share his problems with his family your friend might later pursue his father to consult a psychologist who would help him get rid of his alchohol dependence /abuse. As it is said all the therapies and drugs are only effective when the person is himself ready to leave the substance. 

    APOORVA PANDEY   Jul 15, 2017 08:44 PM


    In such matters individuals who are directly involved don't know how to react. You being a complete outsider in this matter can be least expected to intervene or even guide in such a matter. Added to this, this case is a bit sensitive, so i would really not suggest you getting directly involved in it.

    The only thing that you can do is to provide emotional strength to your friend. Try to be with him and help him sail peacefully through these tough times. More than any direct help from you, this is something that your friend will be needing more. Make him feel better.


  • Manaswini Venkateswaran
    Manaswini Venkateswaran   Jul 15, 2017 03:04 PM


    It seems like your friend has some pretty serious issues and you're right, you may not exactly be qualified or have the required knowledge or skills to help the situation. The most you can do is provide emotional support and be there for your friend when he wants to vent. 

    Do not direct him to do anything or give him any specific instructions because it could backfire terribly. You only have a bird's eye view of the whole situation so what you think may be good advice may turn out to be disastrous and worsen things. 

    What you can do, however, is get someone who is qualified to help. It could be a parent, a teacher or a counselor. They are experienced and may be in a better position to sort things out. If you are unable to consult one in real life, you can ask your friend to log onto our website and seek counseling sessions from any of our therapists.

    Apart from this, talk to your own parents and see if they can do anything for your friend's family from their side. It could be anything, right from letting him stay over at your house once in a while if things are too bad or providing them with a loan for things they need. 

    Good luck!

  • Ayushi Jolly
    Ayushi Jolly   Jul 15, 2017 12:15 PM

    Hey there!

    Your confusion is absolutely justified and valid. I appreciate your cconcern for your friend and your dedication to help the family towards clarity.

    See,alcohol has a lot of bad effects,on the person and others. The alcoholic sometimes doesn't even know what he is doing or speaking so try explaining your friend that his father is also not a static state that he should be guilty.

    Please try to enquire where his father has goen and how is he managing things and feeling without the family. Also you can try to trace the history of alcohol and what led to the addiction.

    It is extremely courageous of him to speak up to you and ask for help and staood for the family in difficult times and wants things to improve.

    If the father has left in recent times to a secure environment,I think he should visit him or talk to him but leave him there an dot bring him home.By this he can condition his family on one side and normalize things with his father on the other.

    Please know that he has come up to you for help and this is not an intervention on your part. You do not have to go the family and talk,if you do not want to.You can help you friend,guide him with words and ideas.

    Please feel free to ask your friend to consult one of the experts here if the situation gets worse or does not improve.

    Hope this helps!

  • Shanmugi B.P
    Shanmugi B.P   Jul 14, 2017 10:17 PM


       Hope you are doing well. I can clearly understand about your plight situation. Your bitterness of discussing about your friends family issues is the worth decision. But being a good friend you should her your friend when she is in problem.  You should stand behind her when she needs you. But you hesitate to help you. But  I also  respect your feelings.

    Your point of perspective is about the negative impact of your solution is also true. So if you are not ready to help your friend. whenever she shares you something  about her family issues and ask you about to help you can suggest her some counselors or  psycartist for her father to relieve home from the addiction and the family depression. If she can’t able to make her father to meet the counselors. she can prefer some online counselors. Nowadays online counselors are also available and there are the eWellness Expert who are the best online counselors to solve all kind of depression and stress.


    Hope, it helps you  !!!

  • Radhika Goel
    Radhika Goel   Jul 14, 2017 09:08 PM

    Hey, hope you are doing well :)

    Your dilemma is completely valid. Sometimes it is better to not give any advice rather than bad advice and we cannot be the best judges of the situation we are not part of. 

    That said, you friend reaching out to you means he wants to help his family and he is looking for support and reassurance from you. Not saying anything would be as harmful as giving 'bad' advice. 

    Firstly, you should recommend that he talk to a counselor and try and make his family attend family therapy sessions. 

    Secondly, if he is not comfortable with that, you should lend an ear to him whenever he wishes to talk. Tell him you want to help him in any way possible and are there for him.

    Thirdly, explain the situation to him by stating both pros and cons of his next step whether it would be to reach out to his father or let him come home on his own time. This way you will be able to prepare him whatever the consequence.

    Hope this helps and your friend feels better!


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