So with your friends: do you look after them no matter what? Do you ward of foes? Do you always hold their hand? Do you tell them everything? What is the friendship protocol? Is it earth quake sensitive?
I guess for everyone it's different where they draw the line in what they are willing to do for their friends. And I'm not talking about the lady you always talk to at the counter of your local supermarket with her "Jenny" name tag and bubbly demeanor however lovely she may be.
Sometimes the best thing you can do for your friend is to let them work out what ever it is that is troubling them, because if you wouldn't give them space you would deprive them of the experience of self discovery. There are also times when you know you have to stick around, bring them soup, sit at their bed and tell silly stories of crazy tea-cosies or have a pillow fight instead.
So: how do you know what to do for a friend? I think you know when you listen to your feelings about it. They are your internal guidance system: it never fails you and it's always handy. Pay attention to what it says. If you feel you have to back off do so, if you feel you have to come to the rescue do so. If you feel you have to stay put do so. Not everyone may understand why you do what you do but that is beside the point as you know what you have to do. And as you are going by your best assessment on any given situation at any time, how could you possibly go wrong?
Here's another toast to instinct and intuition and doing the "right thing" for your friends.