HOW DO YOU SHOW SUPPORT?
How do you show your support for someone? Is it different for different people? Different for friends than for your family? Different depending upon the situation?
I hadn’t thought about this subject in much detail until last night. Personally, I try to be supportive in a variety of ways depending upon the person and the situation. I listen and try to provide a shoulder when it appears to be needed, I provide food, offer babysitting or whatever service it seems may be helpful.
Last night it it dawned on me that we need to know how a person best receives support to know how best to support them. Do they want a hug? Or are they the type of person who withdraws when hugged? Are they a person who processes things by talking about them and they need a listener? Or do they shut down verbally and need some quiet space while they are processing?
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A Late Night Text Message
When I received a text from my adult son last night telling me he didn’t know if I’d heard anything on the news but he was safe. He said they would be headed home from their white water kayaking trip in the morning. My husband knew I was understandably worried. His automatic reaction was to reach out to me, touching me, trying to comfort me. My reaction is to pull away, grab my phone and start researching. Trying to see if I can find more information from either mainstream news or social media. At least in this particular situation it’s enough for me to know that he’s nearby, he’s supportive and willing to help if I ask for something specific.
I’m wondering how often I’ve tried to provide support and been actually providing what that person needed at the time and how often I’ve been completely wrong in my approach. A good reminder to all of us to listen and observe first before assuming that we know exactly what needs to be done to support someone.