You, as a friend, need to realize two things:
#1 You cannot control your friend.
As much you would love to help your friend to the better, you have to understand the limitation here is that change can only happen if the person wants to change.
It’s very simple, but it’s very difficult to internalize because of your desperation to want to see this person becomes better. Especially is the person is your best friend or close family member.
Nonetheless, you have to remember, “I can’t do anything unless he helps himself first.” It is really difficult to accept but it is the reality.
So that’s the first thing.
#2 You have to know your duty as a friend.
Your duty isn’t to change your friend, your duty is to listen and to assist. Most importantly, you need to be a good listener first.
A good listener is somebody who can lower the ego, can lower any assumptions he might have, and lower any interpretations of the situation. Empty your mind and listen to the whole story.
Chances are, what you are seeing right now is part of the ending to a story. So you can’t make a conclusion of the whole movie just by knowing the ending. There’s a whole plotline filled with important details you don’t see that led to the ending that you do see.
Just because you know the ending, doesn’t mean that you know the story. Listen to the story first.
Then, and only then, do you understand the long process that transpired to create the person in front of you right now. You can understand better where the person is coming from and why the person is the way he is.
From there, you’ll be able to get a clue as to what is best course of action to take in order to assist your friend. Not to change your friend, but to assist him so that he may began the process of change himself.
What is that best course of action? To put it simply: I don’t know. It’s not because I’m being lazy, but because I’m not your friend’s friend.
I don’t know him well enough to make any judgment call as to what could be the best course of action. But you, as his friend, know him better than I do. So you should know the best way to approach him and the best way to talk to him.
You should know better how to touch his heart, because you are his friend.