Young people from the Young Scot Youth Loneliness Panel share their thoughts and ideas on how you can help someone if they’re feeling lonely.
What to say to a friend if they are feeling lonely
- Validate their feelings
- Ask them a question that gets them thinking about why they may feel this way and what they can do to change it
- Use the 2 A’s – affirm and ask. Affirm them by saying ‘I’m here for you‘ and ask them a question to see what you can do to help
- Encourage them to reach out when they’re feeling down, that might be to you, another friend, a family member, a trusted adult or a support service (take a look at the #AyeFeel page for a range of organisations that are there to support young people)
- Make plans with them to do something fun with them that both of you enjoy to just get their mind off it for a while
Small things you can do
- Invite them along to a regular get-together you might be having with another friend.
- Ask them if they want to come with you to run an errand. You can chat and get to know each other as you both grocery shop or take someone to their appointments.
- Ask them over when you have a family dinner. Your family has to eat, and so does your friend. Combine the two.
- Help them make a connection by introducing them to your other friends.
- Feel like chilling out in front of the TV? Ask a friend over to join you.
- Call to check in on them occasionally.
Things not to say
- Just go out and meet people!
- Have more confidence!
- Why don’t you join some meet-up group or do things you love?
- You just think that you’re alone, but you aren’t.