Supporting Others: What To Do When Someone You Love Is Struggling

Can you think of a loved one who has been struggling recently?

Some seasons of life are harder than others and knowing how to support our loved ones during those hard seasons is important. The best place to start is just asking your loved one how you can support them during their difficult season. If that feels too uncomfortable, here are a few places to start.

Active listening

One of the best ways to show support is by active listening. This means that you are listening without interruption and without judgement. So often we listen in order to respond or give advice, but active listening allows individuals to share their feelings and experiences completely with validation from you, the listener. When practicing active listening reflect back what they are saying and use open ended questions. This can help them feel heard and give them space to continue sharing their feelings.

Pitch in Practically

When someone is struggling, even simple life tasks can feel daunting and overwhelming. This is where you can step in! Offering to grab a few groceries, bring them dinner, or offering an hour or two of childcare can go a long way. If you’re over at their house, pitch in by doing the dishes or folding some laundry. While these tasks feel small and insignificant, they can make a huge difference for someone in a difficult season.

Be consistent

The best type of support is consistent support. This could be consistent check ins or setting up regularly occurring outings. Maybe you “schedule” a specific time each week or month to catch up. You could bring coffee, meet for a walk, or meet at the park for the kids to play. Whatever you decide, just commit to being consistent. Being reliable for someone during a hard season will go a long way. If they know they can rely on you, they are much more likely to reach out for help when they need it.

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