Thoughts

A Steady Hand: Effectively Helping A Loved One Going Through A Turbulent Time

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There is nothing more heartbreaking than seeing someone you love feel hurt. As much as you want to take their suffering away from them, what you need to do is be there for them as much as you can. When someone you care about is going through a difficult time, personally, health-wise, professionally, or emotionally, it’s difficult enough for us to deal with. But what can we due to ensure that we are truly there for them?

It’s Not Just About The Bad Stuff
Depending on the severity of the situation, it can feel like you’re either trying to tiptoe around bringing up the subject or you address it completely. But what people can underestimate is that talking about other staff is as beneficial. When you see people going through grief, they won’t just want to talk about the person they’ve lost. In fact, maintaining some sense of normality can be very beneficial during these difficult times. Everybody has their own opinion about grieving. Some people like to sit and wallow, but others need to keep pushing on, which serves to maintain a sense of balance. But when we are there for someone, trying to support them, we can either avoid talking about the subject, or we talk about that and nothing else! Let’s remember, there are other things that we can discuss as well.

It’s Not Just About Being There For Them Physically
It’s all about being present. We can feel that we have to be there, at their beck and call every minute of every day. But it’s not just about this, it’s about gauging the situation, and realizing that maybe we should leave them to be by themselves to process. But this doesn’t mean that we are not there for them, we’ve got to, at the very least, communicate to them that we are there if they need us. Even a simple text message can communicate more than we realize. But what is important is that when we are there for them, that we are focused on their needs, and we are present in the moment. Everybody knows when someone’s not really paying attention to you, or they’re not in the moment, and if we are to provide that essential support, it’s about learning how to maintain that important sense of being present.

Help Them Help Themselves
Help is one of those words that people will interpret in their own way. Someone that’s been self-sufficient for so long could feel that getting help is some sort of weakness. But it’s about providing help in a roundabout way. Make you sure that you help them help themselves isn’t about laying it on thick, it’s about giving them options should they need to reach out. Giving them the tools to help themselves is far more important than doing it for them. There are times in life when tough love is necessary, but sometimes it’s about providing that lesson in morality. It could be something as simple as giving them a leaflet to a drug rehab, or showing them how other people have coped in a similar situation. Ultimately, we can’t force people to do something, but merely provide guidance. We can never force people to learn their lesson, and whatever they are going through, it’s individual to them. But it’s far more important to give them the various options so, at the very least, one of them may prove to be helpful.

Encourage Their Abilities To Help Others
Those that have been through a drug rehab clinic don’t realize that they’ve been doing themselves a disservice until they realize exactly who they’ve hurt in their lives. And it’s at that point that they learn to make amends, by apologizing, or doing a good deed to make recompense. When we’re going through a hard time, it’s so easy for us to go into ourselves. This insular way of thinking is all too tempting, because it can get sympathy from others. But when we have a friend that’s going through a bad time, encouraging them to go help others provides more of a meaning to life. In one respect, helping others makes us feel better, and it’s been proven that by helping others, we feel happier as a result. And when someone we care about is going through a difficult time, and they don’t want to leave their bedroom, giving them that opportunity to help someone else, possibly someone who’s going through a similar situation, can instill a sense of focus and purpose.

Never Force!
If we’ve been through this sort of situation before, we look at it through our eyes. We may think that what we’re doing is for their good, but this isn’t a productive approach. We can think that because something worked for us, it will work for them. This is seldom the case. We should never force someone to do something that worked for us, but rather, give it time, and give them more options to pick the ones that work for them. We shouldn’t ever force someone to do something, like drag them out of bed and go for a walk because we think it will do them good. It’s not going to endear you to them. We can certainly get on our high horse and think that we’ve got the tools to help them magically recover, but if we force these upon them, it won’t work, and more importantly, it will drive a wedge between you two. This isn’t helping them in the slightest.

It always comes from a place of love, but if someone we care about is going through a crisis, we’ve still got to remember to look after ourselves as well. We can exhaust our energies trying to fix someone, when in fact, they don’t need fixing. Depending on the person, sometimes it’s just about being there for them, and them knowing this. Because we live in an age of quick fixes, when something has really caused damage, it’s not going to be repaired fast or maybe not at all.

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