Support and Encouragement
There’s often a stigma that men should not cry or speak to others about their emotions. This is not the case; in many ways, you are stronger to talk to someone else than to keep emotions bottled up. Often, it makes the person feel better that they have spoken to someone. Of course, this is the same for women, but often women find it easier to talk in social situations to their friends. The message here is that whoever we are and whatever situation however small or large it may seem to others it is bothering us, and we may need support.
We all need support and encouragement from time to time. This can look different and feel different to the person giving or receiving their support and encouragement. This is natural because not everyone needs the same advice or is in the same situation as someone else. However, at some point in our lives, we may be able to understand the situation that we do not currently understand now. This is because we may not have experienced what the other person is going through right now.
In order to support someone, it is best to listen and allow the person to explain how they feel and give them time to feel heard. If you can support them, even with words of advice and encouragement this may not be what they need at the time. They may just need space and someone to listen. If they ask for advice remember this is just your opinion and the other person can take or leave the advice that you give them. It is their decision. In giving advice we should not be judgemental, but just see this as an opportunity to help another person talk about their situation and perhaps view it from another perspective.
Sometimes this is all that is needed because often the person who requires the support and encouragement knows what they need to do themselves but listening to another perspective can confirm or disprove what the person was thinking originally.
So, what does support actually look like? Support can take many different forms from listening to helping people physically or emotionally with a situation they are faced with. Whichever type of support is required no one form of support is more important than another. Particularly these days people may feel that they need more emotional support just to get through the day. This is called resilience. Resilience is how someone views a situation and copes with it. The more resilient we are, the more we can rely on our friends, networks, colleagues, and families to help us. But we can also rely on ourselves to make a change. Admittedly, some days are easier than others for us to do this, but if we take time to stay calm, assess the situation and ask for help when needed, it is surprising how resilient we are.
Encouragement can be seen to give someone hope and the chance to see that there are solutions to situations, in fact, there are often many solutions to the same situation. Looking at this from a growth mindset viewpoint, if plan A doesn’t work there at least 25 others in the alphabet, try them. This may seem a strange way to look at something, there is often a different perspective to the same solution on a different day or after a good night’s sleep. So, sometimes all we need to do is step back and assess the situation looking at what went well and what we could improve for next time. However, remember that providing support and encouragement does not always need to have answers on that day. Sometimes more important than anything is the chance to rest, refocus and reenergise later the same day or tomorrow.