How to offer great emotional support to others.
“Our way is not soft grass; it’s a mountain path with lots of rocks. But it goes upwards, forward, toward the sun.” Ruth Westheimer
Reach out to me if you need anything! How often have you heard that? Many times people speak boldly about what they would do for us. But they don't always come through when they're needed most. Presence doesn't mean that someone is available. Having people around doesn't mean that we're not alone. You could be seeing someone every day, yet they're still emotionally absent from your life.
There are times when life takes us through the motions. There are moments when we need someone to connect with on an emotional level. Those trying times when our backs are against the wall, wondering where to turn and who to turn to. Below I'll share a few things that you can do to help someone who needs your emotional support.
How to comfort someone who is going through a hard time!
1. Don't present yourself if you intend to make accusations.
Many times people are fully aware that they messed up, and they must face the consequences for their actions. Other times, there's just no explanation for an unexpected turn of events in their lives. Raising accusations or speculations will not make their situations any better. We can either try to help or leave them alone. If we aren't helping then we're only adding to their hurt.
Some things are deeper than what is shown on the surface. The story is told of Job, in his affliction he had a visitation from his three closest friends. At first, they were silent and mourned with him for some time, but everything changed the moment they began to speak.
They accused Job of things that he didn't do. They spoke as if they knew the exact reason for his suffering. It would have been much better if they weren't there. We must be careful not to conclude when we see others suffering. It's best to remain silent if we don't know all the details, or shut our mouths if we don't have anything good to say.
2. Be willing to listen.
There are times when our input isn't needed. We're only needed to listen. So many of us fail at doing this. The first thing we choose to do is to talk. We tend to brag about ourselves, and what we would have done if we were in the person's position. Everyone responds to pain differently. Don't belittle someone else because they aren't as strong as you are. Some like to make a mountain out of a molehill; others make a mountain seem like a molehill. Some people are better able to handle their emotions than others. Be more open to listening to someone. Sometimes all they need is a listening ear, nothing else. Just listen!
“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” Lao Tzu
3. This isn't all about you.
If someone is trying to open up to you about their problems, don't include yourself too much. If you want to relate a similar story, try not to take over the entire conversation by talking all about yourself. Allow them to freely express themselves. Let them have your undivided attention. Show them that you are interested in what they are saying, and you truly want to help. Avoid throwing a pity party. It sometimes makes the situation far worst. People can easily tell how much you care about them through your actions. Don't drown them in self-pity. Sometimes they're not even sorry for themselves. They're just searching for ways to put the pieces of their lives together again.
4. Don't downplay their emotions.
Allow others to feel all their emotions. Let them cry if they want to. Let them scream if they want to. Let them speak what's on their mind. Many of us try to suppress the emotions of others in positivity; if they can't see their situations from a positive point of view, they're being a pessimist. This is a dangerous thing to do. We can shut people down completely, and those unpleasant emotions that we try to bury in positivity will eventually resurface. Sometimes stronger than they were before.
5. Be confidential.
Don't listen to others so you can hold something against them. Remember that we all have skeletons in our closets. We all have something that we don't want everyone to know about. What if God should reveal all our dark secrets? As Bob Marley said, ''if the night should turn into the day a lot of people would run away.'' When someone has shared confidential details about their life with you. Assure them that, whatever is said here, will remain here! Respect their privacy the same way that you'd want them to respect yours.
Share your thoughts below. Thanks for reading.
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