After a long year of hard spiritual work, I have noticed a few things that have changed. My energy shift is positive and filled with great lessons, hard work, and spiritual adventure. Everyone is capable of doing this for themselves. At one point, I didn’t think it was possible for myself, but that was the depression talking.
Being supportive might have been something you thought you were doing well for your spouse, your child or friend. Add more care to your supportive role using these methods:
- Focus on their strengths
They are perfectly aware of their short-falls and the problems they are facing. It is best to highlight the good parts of themselves that may not be putting focus on. i.e. “You are such a strong person. I have seen you overcome difficult problems like this before (list off). That is why I know you will find a solution for this one.”
- Offer practical help
Avoid listing off all the things you think they should be doing to help solve the problem. Chances are, they have gone through that list already and repeating it just makes them feel stupid. If you are going to offer your help, avoid making it general “I’m here if you need me”. They do need you, that is why they are venting or asking for advice. It just isn’t obvious to them how to specifically ask for what they need.If you can offer help by removing other stressors or tasks from their life so they are able to focus on their problem, that would be a huge help! I.e. “I can come down and help around the house so that it can give you time to focus”. “I thought I would drop by with some groceries, I know how focused you are on this other task”. “I would like to drop by and be there for you, maybe we can brainstorm together or you can assign me some tasks to help.”3. Follow up
Being consistently in contact with someone who needs support is ideal. They like the reminder someone cares about them and is encouraging them to stay motivated and on task. Avoid asking questions about their problems. If they are focused on it, they will update you when there has been positive or productive change. Asking them about something they are not forthcoming about will only draw up negative emotions and thoughts.
4. Inspire and educate yourself
If you are unfamiliar about the issue they need support with, educate yourself. By taking initiative to learn what they are dealing with, you can then learn to relate to and be tactical about your actions. They will appreciate your support in that capacity.
5. Be there in person
We are human and thrive on community, physical and emotional connections with one another. Now that the digital age is here, we are severely lacking in personal connections with one another. Simply your positive presence in that persons life will be of some benefit to them. If you are unable to relate to any of the above techniques, simply being silent and present for this person is ideal to supporting them. Words have strong meaning but actions speak louder.
The wifi was out and the closest free outlet was McDonalds. Nothing like a decent greasy delicious last meal before a cleanse. I’m waiting in line and the guy emptying the garbage is literally the happiest guy I have seen. Maybe he has some developmental disorder, cause he generally looked a little funny, but he was happy as hell.
Everything that came out of his mouth was upbeat, he was even dancing around and “bip bopping”. He was helpful and agreed to all the tasks that were given to him. He even came by my table to compliment the greatness of the wifi and took my tray away to put in the garbage.
What can we learn from this guy? Everything! He finds joy in the simple tasks, and loves to interact with people and help out. He doesn’t worry about feeling needed or stepping up the latter over someone, he looks at all the greatness in the little things like the wifi, the weather, and the fact he has time later to fix little things like a spill on the floor.
My thoughts on what he must be thinking: There is time to do all of this. And he is right, there is time to do this, he just kept his goals simple and lived in the moment. I doubt he is thinking ahead to the list of things he has to do that night like make dinner, go pick up the kids, how the car might not be working or the garden needs watering. He is just in the zone, i need to do this right now and I’m going to do it the best I can with a smile on my face because “I Got This!” .
Good for him. I want to take a page out of his manual on life.