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How Do We Support Other People?

A support system is composed of a person or people that you can trust and rely on.  You can have a support system in many different areas of your life.  Support systems can be in school, work, family, friendships, extracurricular activities, counselors and more.  Having a strong support system in place is important because we all need people that we can turn to in the hard time.  For many, a support system needs to be built and rebuilt over time.  It is important to recognize that a support system is not only about us, it is also about the support we provide to others.  Often how we support other people can strengthen our support system and help those relationships to grow.  Here are a few basic tips on how to be successful in supporting others:

  • Be a good listener— take the time to hear what another person is saying about their situation. Try active listening where you ask clarifying questions and are engaged in the conversation.
  • Ask how you can help—don’t assume you have the right answer for the other person. It can be helpful to offer suggestions, but ultimately the person has to decide for themselves how they need the help. Demonstrating that you want to help and offering it can go a long way.
  • Set aside judgment— it can be easy to offer up judgment on another person. However, what that person needs is someone who won’t judge them.  Put aside your own thoughts and focus on the person and how they might be feeling.
  • Follow up— make sure to check back in with the person and find out how they are doing. This can help keep you both accountable for any actionable steps needed.

Growing your support system takes practice and time.  Remembering that providing support is an important part of any relationship and that It can also be unique to the person or group of people.
Source:  https://mhanational.org/supporting-others

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