Let’s get hypothetical here.
Suppose you learned that a friend had troubles in their life and had decided to address these by going on a wild rampage of senseless violence and bloodlust. And that they had equipped themselves with knives, pistols, bombs, and poisons to do so. And they had stripped themselves of all identity, greased themselves with rancid fat, and donned a Mexican wrestler’s Hello Kitty mask.
Would you be disapproving? Which part of the scenario would call this forth; the trouble, the bloodlust, or the mask? Because this says a great deal about you and your appreciation of life. Early sadness would indicate compassion, in the middle it would be civic virtue, and the last named would be the triumph of good taste over popular culture.
But that was hypothetical. Let’s get down to real life. Other people have troubles all the time, and unless we can end them, we are better off not starting in to interfere. Well-intentioned meddling is still meddling, and rarely comes out well. Though it is often a comfort if you are prepared to go round their house and slip on a banana peel to amuse them. Note: it’s not considered a friendly act to sue them for the peel and the injuries.
The principle of counter irritation is also a good idea. In the old days of medicine a pain was treated by rubbing another portion of the patient with acid or a hot pepper mix – this drawing off the humours and giving them something new to concentrate upon. You can apply this now – when a friend is unhappy go visit them and irritate them beyond endurance on another topic. They’ll forget the original problem in an effort to get at your throat with a pair of scissors, and the time will pass blithely. Try to be close to the door when you do this.
Now we’ve all seen the memes on Facebook that show cats frowning and looking judgemental. Try to pattern yourself accordingly. Do not purr unless absolutely necessary and remember to show people your bum.