How To Help Your Friend Out Of Closet
You want to be a loving and caring friend, so that's why you want to know how to help your friend out of closet. People out of the closet face the risk of social rejection that may affect them on both a mental and emotional level. Not fitting in with the dominant heterosexual norm may be troublesome for your friend, which is why you want to reach out and help them out of the closet. Here is how to do so.
- Be empathetic. Empathy is a communication skill that will allow you to understand the other person's point of view. It requires putting aside your own values, experiences and perspective, and listening to what the other party is feeling. By taking this measure, you are reducing barriers to communication. Empathy can be applied to not only those who are out of the closet experiencing difficulty, but to all people experiencing rough times.
- Find commonality in what your friend is going through. You do not have to identity with your friends' experience in order to be able to relate. Listen to what your friend is saying and ask yourself, has there ever been a time when I felt this way or had this happen to me? Commonality will help build a stronger relationship with you and your friend, which can lead to a building block for a support system that will make your friend greatly appreciative.
- Acceptance. Along with empathy, acceptance is the key ingredient to be of support to your friend who is out of the closet. Do not try to change your friend. Do not seek to give your friend advice that may contradict everything they stand for. Acceptance in this scenario is being okay with your friend's identity.
- Be humorous. A smile should always follow tears, so try to cheer your friend up after the pity party is over. Give them something to be thankful for--a true friend who really cares.
- Help your friend to expand their support system. You don't want to be the only person your friend depends on when they are in need, which is why it is important for your friend to meet new people who are alike. Help connect your friend with gay friendly spaces such as bars, gyms and clubs. Help link your friend with support groups that may be helpful to him or her. This will help to build your friend's social capacity so that they have an outlet for being out of the closet.