19 Sep How to help someone suffering
Have you ever had someone close to you go through something traumatic and you immediately panic not knowing what to do or say? You instantly feel their emotion and your instinct is to rush to the rescue because you care about them, but suddenly at a loss for words?
You are one of many, but you know what, you are a compassionate person who cares, you have a heart and this is half the battle.
The other half is what actions to actually take, especially when the person in concern is experiencing every emotion under the sun.
As your average neurotic human being, we love to complicate things, we love to overthink because we feel we are intelligent enough we can control each situation or at least think so. We like to think we can predict the future, so we are apparent psychics and thus act according in the present, anticipating the future.
This was me for most my life. I thought I was so smart or logical that if a situation arose I knew what the outcome would be and how I would handle it. For example, if someone I messaged that was important and they didn’t reply for hours, I would immediately assume that I said something wrong and they didn’t think I was worth responding to. So i immediately dismissed them and said ah well, we had a good run, i’ll be ok. Next thing you know it, they reply with an answer I didn’t expect and they were on a plane and had no access to their phone for hours. What the hell was all that worry and assumption for?
This is the approach we take with helping someone in need. We immediately put our perspective to them not understanding what they truly feel, and offer advice that we clearly see but hard for someone who is going through the toughest time of their life. We comfort them with words that “it will be okay, i remember when this happened to me..” or “This is how I dealt with..”, but we forget they are not you and they have a different mindset to you. We start assuming for them, we see a better future for them thats easy for us to predict but is it the same reality for them? Are they that optimistic at the time? Its noble you want to motivate them, but the motivation needs to come from them, deep within.
I loved giving advice, this was my way of helping others. Thinking I knew what was best from my little naive life experience I had. It sounded great from my mouth but did it resonate with them? I quickly learnt that people are more willing to follow advice or a plan they create themselves. A huge lesson I learnt now I am a coach.
So how do you help someone who’s going through adversity?
It’s quite simple…
A question I ask a loved one, a friend or anyone who is going through something traumatic, is how can I support you right now? or how can I help you right now?
As much as we think we know how to help someone, only they know how they need to be helped in that moment. So instead of assuming what’s best for someone or what will be best for the future, why don’t you find out what is best for that person right now from them?
If they reply “I don’t know”, which can often be the case, then just be with them.
I’ve learn in my journey that our unconditional, non-judgmental and loving presence can do more wonders to a person than we really know. It’s powerful, which means you are powerful.
Never underestimate your presence, because sometimes the intention of the non-physical can mean more than we will ever know or can quantify.
So if you really want to help someone, just ask.
I know that whenever I am in need of support, i’ll tell whoever is willing to help just what I need and I feel loved and supported.