Sometimes it’s extremely difficult to know how to support someone in an abusive relationship. None of us like to see someone we care about being treated badly. But, unfortunately, we cannot dictate what other people do. If your friend is in an abusive relationship, you might feel helpless that you cannot get them out of the situation. If so, make sure you check this list of seven tips for supporting a friend in an abusive relationship.
1. Be honest
When your friend asks your opinion or advice, make sure you are honest, but not rude. Try to phrase your opinion tactfully. Sometimes we don’t want to hear the truth, even if we ask for it. Just say that you are worried about them, but don’t say that their partner is the biggest jerk you have met in your whole life, because this can cause them to defend their partner even more.
2. Don’t judge them
Avoid judging your friend for not getting out. You might think that in the same situation you would definitely leave, but there may be a lot of important reasons why your friend hasn’t done so. Probably they know that they are in an abusive relationship, but they may not be ready to leave their partner, since it’s a big step, which they should take when the time is right.
3. Help boost confidence
If your friend has low self-esteem and they feel that they are not worth being treated well, you should do your best to help them boost their confidence. Don’t be afraid to help your friend to feel more confident! Hopefully in time they will realize that they deserve better.
4. Be a supportive friend
Being a supportive friend is really important. Close friends always know that you are there for them no matter what. If your friend in an abusive relationship, it’s better not to constantly go on at them about leaving. Simply let them know that if they need a space to go to, they can easily count on you.
5. Don’t criticize their partner
Perhaps you are all too keen to confront your friend’s partner about the way they treat your friend, but don’t get into a fight with them. Remember, your friend loves them, and if you have a confrontation with your friend’s partner, your best friend may stop talking to you. Also, never criticize your friend’s partner. Just be a supportive friend and don’t try to change your friend’s mind.
6. Ask their opinion
If your friend is not in denial about what’s happening, try to persuade them to look at the situation as if they’re an outsider. Ask your friend what would they do if they saw this happening to you? Doing this can make your friend realize how badly they are being treated and maybe they will decide to leave their partner.
7. Give them opportunities to open up to you
Probably your friend is looking for someone to trust, but they just don’t know where to begin. Try to give them opportunities to confide in you. You may say something like “Are you worrying about something?” or “If you want to talk to someone, I’m always ready to listen to you.”
Seeing your friend being in an abusive relationship is hard. You want to get them out of that terrible situation, but it’s actually not your business. Your friend is an adult and you cannot make decisions for them. You just can support them. Have your friend ever been in an abusive relationship? How did you support them? Please share your tips with us.