"I think one thing you can do to help your friends who are depressed is to reach out to them not in the spirit of helping, but in the spirit of liking them and wanting their company. “I’m here to help if you ever need me” is good to know, but hard to act on, especially when you’re in a dark place. Specific, ongoing, pleasure-based invitations are much easier to absorb. “I’m here. Let’s go to the movies. Or stay in and order takeout and watch some dumb TV.” “I’m having a party, it would be really great if you could come for a little while.” Ask them for help with things you know they are good at and like doing, so there is reciprocity and a way for them to contribute. “Will you come over Sunday and help me clear my closet of unfashionable and unflattering items? I trust your eye.” “Will you read this story I wrote and help me fix the dialogue?” “Want to make dinner together? You chop, I’ll assemble.” “I am going glasses shopping and I need another set of eyes.” Remind yourself why you like this person, and in the process, remind them that they are likable and worth your time and interest.
Talk to the parts of the person that aren’t being eaten by the depression. Make it as easy as possible to make and keep plans, if you have the emotional resources to be the initiator and to meet your friends a little more than halfway. If the person turns down a bunch of invitations in a row because (presumably) they don’t have the energy to be social, respect their autonomy by giving it a month or two and then try again. Keep the invitations simple; “Any chance we could have breakfast Saturday?” > “ARE YOU AVOIDING ME BECAUSE YOU’RE DEPRESSED OR BECAUSE YOU HATE ME I AM ONLY TRYING TO HELP YOU.” “I miss you and I want to see you” > “I’m worried about you.” A depressed person is going to have a shame spiral about how their shame is making them avoid you and how that’s giving them more shame, which is making them avoid you no matter what you do. No need for you to call attention to it. Just keep asking. “I want to see you” “Let’s do this thing.” “If you are feeling low, I understand, and I don’t want to impose on you, but I miss your face. Please come have coffee with me.” “Apology accepted. ApologIES accepted. So. Gelato and Outlander?”"
P.S. A lot of people with depression and other mental illnesses have trouble making decisions or choosing from a bunch of different options. “Wanna get dinner at that pizza place on Tuesday night?” is a LOT easier to answer than “So wanna hang out sometime? What do you want to do?”
1. This is awesome and also useful (I often want to help but get too mired in my wanting to help to actually help? Which is to say, it’s very good to have actual actions I can take)!
2. Captain Awkward is generally awesome and also useful.
"Why do white people own so many pets?
Because we’re not allowed to own people anymore.
What is the scariest thing about a white person in prison?
You know he did it.
how many Chicago cops does it take to change a light bulb? None, they just beat the room for being black.”
A good looking 50 year old white man is trying to get laid on reality TV. What show are you watching?
To catch a predator.
Why do white girls travel in groups of three or five?
They can’t even
What do you call 64 white people in a room? A full blooded Cherokee."
at dinner last night, a coworker was talking about hanging out with his white friends and getting fed up with the racist jokes, and asked them to tell a white people joke. nobody had any, so he googled and found these. after a few of them, people were a lot less comfortable.
white folks, next time you hear a racist joke, maybe lead with one of these in response. tag this “I’m white” when you reblog it, if you are.
This seems like a grand idea. I’m not sure if I’m this socially brave? But then, I don’t think I hang out with too many people (or any people?) who make racist jokes. So that’s convenient.