The desire to help someone in need is a natural human response. When the need arises, we all want to help but often have no idea how.
There are some simple things you can do to lend support and to lighten the load for someone you care about.
You might not know what to say but you can be there to listen. Your friend doesn't expect you to have the solution to her problem, the cure for his illness or the key to fixing a broken relationship. But they may need to talk and just having someone hear them out allows them to voice their feelings and this can bring clarity and comfort. Listening to someone with empathy and without judgement is one of the most important things we can do as friends and it lets them know that we care.
Sometimes when a life is lost, a diagnosis is made or another crisis arises, those suffering are inundated with offers of help and sympathy from friends and family. But as time goes on and people get on with their lives, that same person may still be grieving, suffering, struggling. And they still need our support. Checking in every so often to see how they are doing, sending thoughtful messages, and remembering anniversaries and birthdays of loved ones, are little things we can do to show that our love and support is ongoing .
When life turns upside down, situations arise that we have never had to confront before. How do I best support my friend with depression? How do I help care for my ageing mother? What services are available to my brother who is struggling with addiction? Or for me, trying to help him? Whether it's for yourself or someone else, there is help out there if you know where to look. LOVLINKS is a gateway to resources and support services which can assist you or someone you care about. We've searched the web and beyond to locate the experts and services, to help make your search easier and your assistance more effective.
Find a way to help
Before offering support to a friend or loved one, think of some practical ways you can actually help. Simply saying, 'let me know if I can help' puts the onus on the recipient to find something for you to do and they may be reluctant to ask. If you want to give real help and relief, be specific in what you are offering to do.Perhaps you can help with the cooking, ironing, babysitting or grocery shopping. Perhaps you can just offer to be there at 2 on Friday to take them out for coffee. Or maybe you can get friends and family together and create a LOVLIST to organise ongoing support.
Respect their wishes
Sometimes, no matter how much we want to help, our offers are rejected, or we are unable to support our friend or loved one in all the ways we'd like to. At these times it is important to remember that it's not about us, it's about them and that people respond differently to crisis. What we would like for ourselves in a given situation may be different to what they want, but we can still be there on standby if and when our help is required.