Advice: Fixing a friend
Answered by: Chereen
Q: Assalamualaikum wrwb. I wanted to ask your advice regarding this issue. I’ve a friend of mine who complains that he’s lazy. And can’t find the motivation to get things done on time. If he were to be given a day to do something productive, he could be doing nothing all day except for watching YouTube. He says he finds it difficult to achieve a goal. And that he doesn’t feel the need to do anything. He said he became this way after ending his previous relationship with this girl who left him. After 5 years for no good reason. He lost all hope in life and everything felt depressing. We’ve been friends for almost 9 months now and I see some positive changes in him. His way of thinking and dealing with things have changed. He tries his best to not be lazy or procrastinate but after a good effort of 4 to 5 days he falls back to his bad habits. I’m quite confused of how this thing can change? I realised one thing… when he was in his previous relationship he found some motivation in his partner.. to achieve a goal..but now that she left..It impacted his life. He has moved on. Alhamdulillah. But about the “being lazy and procrastinating things”. I Want You to advise me on this. So I can help him see the bigger picture.
A: Wa Alaykum Assalam wrwb, Your friend doesn’t sound lazy, he sounds discouraged and depressed. It appears as though the effects of heartbreak have left him helpless and hopeless. He hasn’t moved on, as that will take time. Of course he’s going to have ups and downs! Surely, you cannot expect every day to be a high for him? It’s going to be unpredictable until he really settle into a comfortable state with his emotions. Getting out of depression is not immediate. His heart broke over time, and now it will take time to heal. What he needs is consistency and for someone to be patient with him.
I understand you value this friend, but your job is not to fix him. Correct me if I am mistaken, but I sense some frustration in your words. You can guide him and be supportive, because that is what he needs. However, his change has to come from within. So what can you do to help him become more motivated? Celebrate his achievements. Return everything to him. When he accomplishes something, remind him that HE did it on his own. Remind him that his success comes from within. This will help him achieve goals for his own sake, rather than the sake of another person. The problem is that he lost himself in his previous relationship. Regaining himself will take time. If he’s having a setback, you can acknowledge it by saying “Today seems like a tough day. How can it become better?”
Be patient. Don’t fix him. Offer support when you can. Recognize that he is not a project, he is simply a friend who needs support.
I wish you well. 🙏🏻