7 Simple Ways to Encourage Others Who Are Struggling
Life isn’t always a walk in the park. We all struggle and have painful experiences from time to time. If your family, friend, or loved one is going through a rough spot, it can be difficult to know what to say or do to help them.
Encouragement is key. It helps people get out of their rut and builds a connection, strengthening relationships. The next time you find yourself at a loss about how to build up your loved one, think of these seven tips.
1. Learn what makes them tick.
If your loved one is going through a difficult time, it’s important to understand how they cope and what will best help them. Some people just need the opportunity to talk it out and have someone listen. Others are cheered by encouraging words, while still others respond well to small gifts or gestures of kindness. Get to know what works best for those around you.
- Offer specific help.
Offering your help is terrific, but if you leave it open ended, a person who is struggling may be at a loss for an answer. It’s better to ask if you can do something specific for them, like take their kids on a play date for an afternoon or deliver a meal to their home.
- Remind them that you’re there.
Suffering often causes the feeling of isolation. Sometimes the best thing you can do for someone going through a difficult time is simply to check in, ask how they are doing, and reassure them that you’re there.
- Be present.
During dark times, your friend may not want to be alone. Simply be with them. Settle in for an afternoon together. You don’t have to even talk. Bring over some good books, coffee, and maybe a treat or two.
- Show up.
Suggest scheduling routine get-togethers. Take your friend out to dinner or shopping. Cook them dinner one night a week. By continually showing up for them, you are reinforcing the fact that you care and that you’re there for them, no matter what.
- Get outside.
We as humans tend to hibernate when we’re hurting and that can just perpetuate the problem. Being cooped up does nothing for our mood. Offer to go on a walk or hiking. By getting out of the house, it will be a change of scenery and an opportunity to get a dose of all natural vitamin D.
- Acknowledge their feelings.
Needing validation is part of the human condition; we all crave it. By confirming that your loved one’s feelings are valid, you are helping bolster the confidence they need to bounce back.
- Share your own struggles.
This isn’t an opportunity to “one up” your friend’s struggles; it’s a chance to be transparent about a relatable situation you’ve been through and overcome. It also helps create a sense of connection and may even decrease your friend’s feelings of isolation knowing they aren’t alone.
If you have a loved one who’s currently struggling, we hope these tips will help. Maybe you’re actually the one who’s going through a rough patch. Feel free to share this article with those around you, so that they are better able to help you through this difficult time.