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5 Ways to Provide Emotional Support

Emotional support is something we all need to receive.  Emotional support can include the demonstration of support, concern, encouragement or love for another person.  Often, we provide emotional support to other people, both personal and professional.  There are many different types of emotional support and it can be something that is different from person to person.  Providing emotional support does not come naturally to everyone, but it is something we can learn and improve upon.  Here are 5 ways to try being emotionally supportive to someone:

  1. Start a conversation. Checking in with someone about how they are doing, can go a long way and can open up a deeper conversation.
  2. Be a good listener. Showing someone you really care about them, by listening to what they have to say.  Avoid interrupting them or commenting on everything they say.
  3. Give encouragement. Be a positive support by providing confidence and hope for success.
  4. Provide physical touch when appropriate. A hug, pat on the back or holding someone’s hand can be just the right support that someone could need.
  5. Validate feelings. Often, people need to hear that how they are feeling is okay for their situation.  Letting someone know that can be emotionally supportive.

Keep in mind that not all ways of providing emotional support are effective for everyone.  Know your audience and get to know the people closest to you, to discover how they may best receive emotional support from you.  If providing emotional support to someone for the first time, try starting with a conversation.

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