No one expects the worst to happen, but each of us will go through a crisis such as death of loved ones or close friends or serious bouts of illness that can change the course of our lives. Tragedies such as relationships that don’t work, struggles with trying to get pregnant, drug abuse, being a crime victim or losing a home and all possessions due to climate change and the weather to financial difficulties from job loss can devastating. This is why it is important to help those dearest to us through those life shattering times in the best ways we can to be more supportive. Here is how to be that more emotionally supportive relative or friend that can make that difference to navigate in the wake of that crisis.
Sometimes, one of the best things that you can do is just be there to listen. Hopefully, you can be there in person to serve as the listening post that the person needs. Though you want to start giving advice, you should never rush into it unless the person asks for it. Letting that person talk to get those emotions out in the open and know you are there for them without judgement is what really matters.
It may be hard to control your own emotions when bad things happen to those dearest to us, but you need to maintain a level head. Instead show that person the compassion and empathy needed.
One of the worst things that you can do is trying to minimize the amount of suffering that the person is experiencing with such unhelpful phrases such as “at any rate” or “in any case” or maybe “at least” to counteract their pain. After all, how can you possibly know what that person is feeling unless it happened to you?
When faced with a major problem that causes severe emotional pain, it can be confusing knowing where to turn to solve the problem. Therefore, how to be more supportive to those dearest to you could be as simple as researching helpful organizations that also could be a starting point from resources on the federal and local level in their community to help after natural disasters, lawyers, support groups for a drug, alcohol to domestic abuse to agencies that could help with mental health issues, etc.
Besides emotional support, it also is beneficial to do what you can for that person that is going through a crisis. If you live close enough, it can be something as simple as offering to help with errands they might need such as picking up prescriptions, groceries, etc. to housework or cooking. For those dearest to you that live far away, then visiting a few times a year to help with major cleaning and tending to important errands can also be appreciated. However, make it a point to pick up the phone, send emails and texts to remind them that you care and will help them through any decisions that they might want to discuss with you to deal regarding that crisis.