How To Support And Show Up For The People You Care About

Published on March 8th, 2022

Updated on March 12th, 2022

How To Support And Show Up For The People You Care About

Showing support for the people you care about can be challenging sometimes. You may struggle to understand your loved one or be unsure of what they need from you to feel safe and supported. It is not always easy to support a loved one who is suffering, and the pressure to be present for a loved one can become overwhelming.

While it can be challenging, there are ways that you can show your support for a loved one without feeling overwhelmed. Having a plan for showing support can be helpful when supporting someone you care about. A plan can minimize the stress that is put on you to perform by setting realistic expectations for how you will be there for the person in need.

Being supportive in little ways can be a great help. You do not need to always know the answers. In fact, trying to provide answers or solutions can actually cause someone to feel unsupported. The first step to showing your support for your loved one is to be okay with not having the answers and not being responsible for coming up with the solution. Instead, use the tips below to learn how to show support.

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Know Your Strengths

Everyone has different strengths and weaknesses when it comes to showing support. Knowing the kind of support you are good at showing can help you build your confidence in your ability to do the right thing when needed. There are different kinds of support, including:

If you find that you fall short in one of these areas then focus on a different area. For example, maybe you are not able to provide logical support and reason when needed, but you are a great cook and know your loved one is too busy to cook a proper meal for themselves. Build on that strength, rather than putting pressure on yourself to be able to offer logic and reason.

Ask What They Need From You

Take the guesswork out of supporting a loved one. You do not need to know before them what they need to feel supported. If you find yourself stressing over how to best show support, just ask. Your loved one knows better than anyone what they need to feel supported. You are not expected to have the answers or know what to do.

Showing support is about expressing that you care. You want to show that you want to be there to support your loved one in the way that they need. Asking “what do you need from me?” is an excellent method of opening up a dialog about the ways you can support your friend. It also expresses that you care and that you want to be there for your loved one. Even if they do not know the answer, knowing that they can ask for help if they need it helps them feel more secure and hopeful.

Create A Safe Environment

A safe environment for your loved one can help them feel secure when with you. Offer a calm space for recovery and peace when your loved one needs it. Whether or not you can be present in that space, minimizing stress for your loved one can improve how they feel overall.

Creating a respite for the person you care about can offer them a place to go when they feel like they cannot turn elsewhere. This simple gesture can make a huge difference when dealing with someone who is overwhelmed or struggling. Consider the following methods of creating a safe space:

Offer to help maintain this environment to minimize stress, whether it is at your home or their home.

Be Realistic About Your Limits

We all have our limits, and as much as you care about your loved one, you will not be able to commit to supporting 100% of their needs. Be realistic with what you are able to offer, and at what point you cannot offer more support.

Consider things like your energy levels, your personal responsibilities, and your schedule before you commit to certain forms of support. You do not have to put your needs to the side when supporting someone you care about. It is not about committing to supporting your loved one and neglecting your needs. It is about being attentive, which nobody can do completely. Putting your needs to the side to tend to your loved one can cause burnout and frustration for you. An alternative is to set clear and realistic expectations about how and when you can show support for your loved one, and being okay with sticking to your limits.

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