#1 Tell Them Everything Is Going To Be Okay: Make them fall in love with uncertainty, and reach for something, a promise, that they can not see, a promise so far away, a promise so intangible and unconcrete.
Point out the sun even when they keep telling you about being stuck under a starless night sky, feeling like their world is imploding more and more every day. Do not believe them. It’s going to be okay, It is going to be okay. This is a real and true statement that applies to anyone no matter where they stand. Tell them about what their future looks like when they’re forty with a lot of kids and a terrific partner-why even wander that far? Reminder them that they will be blowing the candles of their 18th birthday next year, even when they tell you they’re not so sure if they will be around to open their Christmas gifts this December. It’s okay. It’s all going to be okay.
#2 If said friend is a male, tell him to “man up” or “stop being a pussy.” . Trigger his masculinity. Make him feel like shit for venting to you in the first place, for letting the walls he has been building around himself for so long, fall so totally before your eyes in a moment of absolute ‘weakness’. Tell him to suck it up. You are a man. Tell him. You are a man. Crying is for little girls. You are a man and this world belongs to those who keep themselves locked under an impermeable sky made of all the words and screams and poisons that never found a way out. This world is under the control of those with cold hands and matching cold souls..Tell him. You are a man. You are God’s breath of uncorruptibility. You are not allowed to break, you are not allowed to cry, you are never allowed to feel.
#3 If said friend is a female,tell her that Big Girls Don’t Cry. Repeat #2.
#4 Tell them It’s All In Their Head, as if they don’t already know it. Remind them of their worst enemy, of that daily battle they are destined to keep losing. Be another living proof that other people can never get it. They can never get what it feels like to be trapped inside your own mind, stuck in an endless maze made of sharp fragments of broken dreams and hopes. Tell them to find a way out, and to shake it off. As if they have never tried. As if they have never felt themselves burning, veins on fire, nerves seared, humanity forgotten. It is all in their head.
#5 Make It About you: Make a whole analogy to a situation you were in at some point in your life. Dig deep in your memories; pick one that has anything to do with the problem they’re facing, then simply start with “Gosh trust me, I’ve been there before…” Take that one memory, and talk about it non-stop. Until they forget their own. Don’t worry, they are not going to think you are not really listening and that you’re just waiting to talk about yourself. And you are definitely not risking upstaging their suffering, overwhelming them at an inappropriate time with more woes than they can handle, and ultimately leaving them feeling massively unheard.
#6 If they’re crying over a person who did them wrong, insult the fuck out of that person. Go overboard trashing that person. Get angrier about that person than your friend does, bring up all the personal complains you’ve been holding against them, and use specific insults or criticisms about their appearance, personality, etc. It doesn’t matter if that person still makes your friend happy. It doesn’t matter if your friend is begging you to stop because that person still holds their entire world between their hands. Just.keep.insulting.the.fuck.out.of.them. it is super empowering.
#7 Tell them “Other People Have It Worse” . Remind them of how little they can do about the world’s biggest problems, make them feel cruel and monstrous for crying over things that you find silly. Invalidate their pain and sufferance. They are not allowed to feel this way,they are so fucking blessed compared to many in this horrible, horrible world. What thry’re feeling is not even close to real. It might not be normal, but any step outside of the norm is just rebellion or soul-searching, and that friend will return to the norm once they become older.
After all, it’s just a phase; isn’t it?