How to be a good listener if someone is upset

Do you know how to listen to your friends if they have problems? In this video, find out what you can do to help your friends and be a good listener.


Do the preparation task first. Then watch the video and do the exercises. Remember you can read the transcript at any time.


It's essential we keep an eye on our family and friends because it can be easy not to notice when someone has a mental health problem. But we've got some simple signs to look out for.

It might be a change in sleeping habits. Is your friend sleeping all the time or not at all?

Have you noticed a change in eating habits? They might not be eating enough. Or maybe they've started eating too much.

It could even be a change in behaviour. Has your mate stopped hanging out with you like they used to? Do they have sudden outbursts of anger? Sometimes it might just be a change of tone in their message or a post.

Any change in normal habits and behaviour over a prolonged period of time can be a sign that something isn't right and the best thing you can do to help is to talk to them.

Chris: So you may spot that a friend's having difficulties or they may come to you with a problem, but either way, what should you do next?

Xand: And this is a thing that actually happens to me and Chris all the time. We do bring our problems to each other and confide in each other and it's very hard to know what to say.

We've come to meet Caroline. She's been a school counsellor for over 25 years, supporting hundreds of students.

Chris: Caroline's gonna listen in as I try to help Xand with some issues in his life.

Tell me about it.

Xand: I'm just not getting enough sleep. I'm always tired and irritable.

Chris: So why don't you go to bed a bit earlier?

Xand: There are too many things to worry about.

Chris: It is difficult, but there are a lot of people who are struggling more than you.

Xand: I know that there are people having a worse time than me, but that doesn't make me feel any better. I like this girl and she just stopped answering my texts.

Chris: Why don't you show me the texts?

Xand: I don't want to show you the texts.

Chris: Well, I can't help you with the texts if you don't show me the texts.

Xand: It seems to me you're just getting annoyed at me. You were the one that wanted to hear my problems. I don't find what you're doing now very helpful. I can't quite see how anything's gonna, gonna get better.

Chris: So what I'm feeling now is I don't know what to do. Caroline, what should I be doing?

Caroline: Why do you want to fix him? You're very much wanting to have answers, and some problems don't have answers.

Chris: So I should just listen to Xand, not jump to give advice.

Xand: I didn't feel like you were listening. It did feel judgy.

Chris: I judged you and felt that you should do some things or that you shouldn't do other things.

Caroline: You can't know how he's feeling.

Chris: I got this wrong. Don't judge, just reassure your friend you're there for them.

Caroline: I think it also really helps to talk to somebody who's not involved.

Xand: The temptation is to go, 'If I'm a really good friend, I can also be your counsellor', and those two things are not necessarily true together.

Chris: So don't be afraid to get help from an adult you trust, because someone like a counsellor may be the best person to deal with the situation.


What do you do to help your friends?
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Submitted by Rehammohamed on Sat, 04/23/2022 - 14:55

Well what I have been learned in my life when I have someone has a mental health problem what the 1st thing I should to do to help them is it is listening and listening . you're listening . I realise when anyone of us when go through a mental health problem maybe they need a good listener to their problems . You shouldn't be a judger Because he need Honest person to talk to him. Don't care about give your advice firstly give him your ears.
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Submitted by Andrii on Tue, 07/06/2021 - 17:15

I always listen to them carefully, and give an advice how to solve the problem. I also listen to their decision and tell why it is a good idea, or why not.

Submitted by 8sxik on Sun, 04/04/2021 - 21:34

Listening is a sign of respect to other's feelings:)

Submitted by Niitro_peru on Wed, 10/21/2020 - 03:12

Don't be indifferent with anyone of your friends, time is too short to safe lifes.

Submitted by dudet on Wed, 09/09/2020 - 09:17

Listening is the key to understanding and to accept.

Submitted by cookiepg on Wed, 08/26/2020 - 07:43

I wild help my friends one my way

Submitted by Paranes on Tue, 07/28/2020 - 08:40

I thing that the keyword is "listen". Just led your friend express himself, don't judge, be there for him.

Submitted by giovanamolina on Mon, 07/06/2020 - 00:35

I ask what happened to her, and depending on the case, I offer help or just find words to reassure her.
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Submitted by samoiset on Sun, 06/28/2020 - 08:30

great thanks thoses are all vrey helpfull tips like them thanks agian
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