How to Help a Friend and Co-worker Overcome their Character Flaws

Estimated reading time: 3 mins

As a friend, it can be difficult to watch someone you care about struggle with profound character flaws. Whether they’re struggling with low self-esteem, avoidance of responsibility or the inability to trust others, helping your friend through these issues can be an arduous process. Of course, no two people are the same and every individual has their own unique set of needs and desires. However, there are some general strategies that can help your friend overcome their character flaws and move towards a healthier state of being.

One of the most important things you can do for your friend is provide them with unconditional support. This means offering kindness and understanding even when they don’t deserve it – something which may not always come naturally! It is essential that your friend feels safe in your presence, so make sure to let them know that you are there for them regardless of what happens. Let them know that their feelings – whatever they may be – are valid, and remind them (in a gentle way) that accepting themselves is an important part of the healing process.

It’s also important to practice empathy as much as possible when dealing with character flaws. Ask open-ended questions to get at the root cause of their problem; this will help you gain insight into how they feel and will allow you both to work towards finding solutions together. Be patient during this process as it may take some time before they open up completely; avoid pushing too hard or making assumptions based on limited information as this could lead to further confusion or hurt feelings.

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In addition to empathy and understanding, another key element in helping a friend overcome their character flaws is learning how to effectively communicate with each other – both verbally and nonverbally. As humans we often express ourselves through body language more than words; pay attention to subtle changes in posture or eye contact which might signal distress or discomfort during conversations about sensitive topics such as mental health issues or personal failures. If necessary, create boundaries around what topics are off-limits so both parties feel respected throughout the discussion without any fear of judgement from either side.

Honestly, though, is critical. The greatest service you can do for a friend is to help them hold themselves accountable for their development and resolution of their flaws. The most important first step is to help your friend accept their flaws – accountability will not happen until they actually acknowledge their flaws. Sugar-coating the situation, or blaming some external agency, won’t help. With empathy and care, provide feedback and ask open-ended questions that will help your friend see their flaws for what they are, and the impact they are having on their lives – they’re holding themself back.

Finally, it’s essential for your friend to practice self-care on a regular basis if they want to start overcoming their character flaws successfully over time. Encourage them to engage in activities that bring joy such as going out for hikes, listening to music or spending time with animals (if possible); incorporate relaxation techniques like yoga or meditation into their daily routine if appropriate; get plenty of sleep; eat nutritious meals throughout the day; drink plenty of water; exercise regularly; minimize exposure to negative influences such as toxic people or unhealthy habits – all these steps combined should help improve their overall mood and well-being over time (Kaur et al., 2017).

By taking all these factors into consideration you should be able to provide solid support while still allowing your friend space and freedom within which they can find solutions on their own terms (Gosselin & O’Neil 2015). Remember: every person has different needs when it comes down facing character flaws head-on so try not impose pre-conceived notions about recovery onto your loved one but instead focus on providing compassion and genuine understanding throughout this journey together (Cervantes & Bogart 2018). With patience and dedication anything is possible.


Cervantes R., & Bogart L., 2018 ‘The role of friendship quality in predicting college student anxiety symptoms’ Journal Of American College Health 66(8), pp 612–618

Gosselin M., & O’Neil J., 2015 ‘The effectiveness of cognitive behavioral therapy among friends who suffer from depression’ Clinical Psychology: Science And Practice 22(1), pp 94–104

Kaur S., et al., 2017 ‘Self-care practices among psychological counselling students: An exploratory study’ Indian Journal Of Positive Psychology 8(3), pp 265–274

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