Sometimes when a loved one is going through a lot, we eagerly want to support and be there for them, however we are not sure what is the right thing to say or do, and most of the times the fact is we cannot take away their pain no matter what we do or say, so how do we support them?
- Each person has a different way of dealing with pain, some people shut out, try to avoid the subject and some people want to communicate it, it is not about who is right or wrong, but in both cases it is not your job to fix it, you just need to show up and be there, let them express it the way they are comfortable with, and just make sure you are listening and understanding them at all times.
- Ask them a direct question of “What can I do to help you?” or “how can I make you feel better today”. Make sure you let them know that they are not alone.
- Making sure they are eating well is a great way of support.
- Hugging them for few minutes might actually bring a little bit of comfort and sometimes that is what they need.
- It would also be helpful to learn about their struggle, you can ask an expert or use the internet for a research, this way when they are talking to you about their struggle, you have an idea or a background about it.
- sometimes the best way of support is to let them out of their own space where all they can think of is their pain or struggle, go somewhere new, or do a new activity with them.
It can be also difficult on us and on our mental health while supporting others, so always make sure you are taking care of yourself first, as you will also need the energy to support them.