How To Really Help You Loved Ones When They Need You

When your loved ones are going through a tough time it can be tricky to know what is the best thing to do, do you give people space, do what you think is best even though they say they don't want help? Or stand back and wait to be told what to do. Of course, every situation will be different, and it could be difficult to get it right, there is no one size fits all approach. But there are a few things you can do, which are easy enough and should help you to navigate the situation easier.

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Put Them First

When you actually talk to your friend or loved one, the person who is struggling or hurting, respect their place and their circumstances. Listen to them, sit down with them and do talk to them, but don't tell them what to do. It is not a teaching moment unless they come to you asking for you to tell them what to do; they may just desire that moment of solitude. 'Don't try to resolve the problem unless that is what they are asking for, for example, if an elderly relative is telling you how tough things are, perhaps they just need an ear, someone to understand and be there to listen and give them a hug, not a load of information on home hospice care. It is okay just to listen and then walk away and allow them some time.

Realize That Your Past Experiences Are Irrelevant

If you've ever had that friend who consistently one-ups everything you say, you'll know how awful that can be and how unhelpful and unwanted it is in serious situations, so don't be that person. People that do this usually try to listen to a 'friend's situation but continue to interrupt with their own experiences. They do this in an attempt to relate and let that person know that they 'aren't alone in this situation. If you do this, be careful and take a step back because while you probably mean well, and you are trying to help, you are making the situation about you and in turn, you could be making your friend feel like their what they're going through in their current circumstances are insignificant and unworthy of the attention.

Know When To Be Quiet

The next big thing that you can do to support loved ones during difficult times is to keep your thoughts to yourself. While it's a common misconception that going to therapy means that someone will tell you how to deal with your problems, that a therapist not only identifies the problems but also helps solve them, it is actually the opposite. A lot of therapy consists of the therapist empowering their client. They will learn coping skills, but ultimately they are approaching the issue while the therapist is listening, so take a leaf out of a therapists book and know when to allow someone the floor as this is a huge step in supporting someone in need.


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