How can others support you?


One of the big things we ignore, which could radically change our lives, is other people's support. It's extremely important to surround yourself with people who are dedicated to supporting you. It's also extremely important for you to know how you feel supported and for you to communicate that to those people.

We're all different. Some of us feel supported when others give us hugs, while others of us would feel even more stressed out if someone started hugging us. Some of us need to be alone, while others of us need the company of people. When you're stressed, what is it that you need to feel supported by others? Sometimes it's something we don't even know about ourselves!

Think about how you react in stressful situations. Do you need to be alone?  Do you seek out other people? Do you need to accomplish something (like cleaning your room, or finishing a project)? Do you need people to give you verbal affirmations and encouragement? For some people some of those things will sound like the exact opposite of what they need in times of stress. For instance, I would hate if people tried to give me hugs while I was stressed, but other people would absolutely love and feel totally supported by that action.

This is why it's important to communicate to others in your life what you need. Otherwise they're basically just guessing what you need. Or their thinking about what they would like and giving you the support that they would need, not you. The people you're close to want to be able to support you and help you through your tough times, so be sure to examine yourself and let them know what you need most!  My natural reaction to people who need support is to just leave them alone, because that's what I would want.  But not everyone feels supported the way I do, and maybe my leaving them alone makes them feel less supported, not more!  It goes along with that old adage, "If you assume, you make an ass out of u and me."  Assuming that someone will feel supported in the same way you feel supported will probably be ineffective, unless the person you're trying to support is exactly like you.  

This is why you have to be responsible for letting other people know how you feel supported, and for you to ask people how they would best feel supported.  It might even be a good idea to write it down or have a little chart so you can refer to it.  When I worked at a summer camp one summer, during staff training we had each person share how they felt supported and then wrote it down  in the lounge of the staff building so we could help support each other effectively during the summer.  It was a great idea and I wish more employers and group leaders would take the time to understand how to better support their staff!