Helping Friends and Family Through Changes In Life
Change is something that everyone will experience at some point in life. This change comes in many different forms. There is good change, there is not such good change, but regardless of the type of change, being a supportive friend is essential.
When your friends and family are going through changes, you may feel unsure of what to do and how to help them. You don’t want to come across as overbearing, but you also don’t want to be too distant. It’s a challenge to find the right balance for offering this support. To help you, help friends and family, through changes in life, whether good or bad, here is some advice to consider.
Support From Afar
Until you know the extent of the support they require, you should make sure to support them from afar. Depending on what has happened, it’s likely they have a lot going on right now.
Rather than barge in on them when they are not ready, consider sending messages of encouragement or congratulations. For them, it will make them happy that you are thinking of them, even if you are not right beside them, and this will make them feel more comfortable with turning to you later on.
Wait for the Call
Eventually, you may get a call, and only then is it appropriate to take the next steps. They may ask to meet for a drink or coffee, or perhaps even come over for dinner. When this happens, be sure to ask if there is anything that they need to make it easier and less stressful.
Typically, the call is a signal that you are one of the people they have turned for assistance, whether that comes down to planning a party or doing tasks they do not have the emotional energy for. Whatever it is, make sure to listen to them and follow their instructions to a tee.
Lead By Example
If your friends or family are struggling with something, you can lead by example to help them overcome the issues they are facing. This can include everything from quitting drinking or smoking to stressing out over the smallest things in preparation for some considerable change in life.
Leading by example will not just help them, but also others who are involved with the support. By witnessing how you can handle it, hopefully, with a calm and confident head, you can give additional clarity on how they should be acting in situations.
Encourage Good Habits
Similarly, encouraging good habits can help transform lifestyles for the better, even if it’s just for the time being. Good habits can include things such as exercise, eating well, or keeping in touch with others, rather than allowing the change to overcome their lives.
You can also encourage good habits by pushing them to get whatever they need doing done. This can include packing up to move across the country, get in touch with relevant people for party entertainment, or speak to professionals who can provide qualified help.
Think of Their Essential Needs
When going through changes, it’s easy to forget basic but essential needs. Depending on the type of change that is happening, you can make sure you keep life feeling as normal as possible by giving them a helping hand.
If they’re ready to give birth, you can find a suitable hamper to help them welcome their child into the world and ensure that they have everything they need in their child’s early few weeks. If they are getting close to a wedding, being the one to make quick runs to the store to stock up on food and drink while they are busy with the final details will be much appreciated.
Sometimes, you don’t need to do anything personally to support someone. Instead, you can share stories about experiences you have had yourself, or ones you have witnessed to provide context and show your friends and family that they are not alone.
By offering alternative perspectives, they may be able to come to terms with these changes more comfortably. Often, giving advice yourself can go in one ear and out of the other, but hearing examples of success stories from people they don’t know could give them a different perspective.
Gather Additional Support
When providing support, you cannot do everything alone, and attempting to do so is an easy way to grind yourself down, which won’t help whoever you are offering support to. Bringing in reinforcements can give everyone a break and relieves the pressure on one another so you can be as effective as possible.
However, you’re better off confirming such assistance with your friend or relative, as for more severe issues, they may not be comfortable with people they don’t know helping out.
Take Their Mind Off It
While it will be challenging to take their mind off whatever is happening, it’s still something to try. As ever, this will depend on what support is needed, but getting them away from home or the demands for a few hours, whether to take a walk, hit the gym, or just chat in a cafe about anything else can do wonders for them.
Even if it is just for a few hours, it will give their mind a break and ease some of the stress they may be under, which can make them more productive when they return.
Regardless of the type of change, it’s always important to be honest if asked for your opinion on anything. However, there are still levels of honesty to think about. If someone is grieving, then don’t talk about how you never liked their partner, so be honest, but also succinct and respectful when needed.
All Kinds of Change
It can be difficult to prepare for change, and for many things in life, you won’t be able to anticipate such change until it is too late. Despite this, it’s still useful to understand how to offer the necessary support to your siblings, parents, partner, best friends, or anyone else when they need it. If you know the best steps to take when you need to offer support, you can help anyone overcome whatever they are facing with confidence and optimism.