Love isn’t about grand gestures. It is about keeping up with the momentum; to be consistent when it comes to caring for and thinking of others. Be present with the people in your relationships at every step of the way. That means you’ve got to be willing to be there for them day or night; rain or shine. That’s all loving someone really is. It’s about the time and efforts your spend being with them and growing to love more about them.
To love someone wouldn’t always be an easy thing to do, either. It’s not a walk in the park, at least not in the literal sense. There will be times you’ll take notice of the subtleties of the smiles they fake, the tears behind their every laughter, the hurting they feel, and the hurting you will feel because of it all.
You can’t expect a person to always keep your best interests in mind, especially in their rare moments of extreme distress. After all, many of us find it difficult to maintain a collected, level-headed composure when under intense pressure, too. The thing about that pain is that it becomes your reality. It overwhelms you. Your regard for others will be greatly repressed. And in that moment, you’re not living as your best self. The only thing that’s preoccupying your mind amid the confusion and chaos will be survival.
There has got to be an understanding when one (or both) of you are ‘drowning’, but for there to be that understanding, there must be some form of communication going on. Being there for others is one of those ways.
They’ll be glad to have someone rooting for them. And you’ll be glad, too, knowing that of all people who are willing to make a difference for that person is none other than you. Do it with absolutely no expectation, and most definitely without a reason.
Your presence will speak volumes. It helps others in ways you’ll never know. Although it doesn’t guarantee that you’ll have a crowd of supporters of your very own during your hardships, it does come to show that you are very much capable to be supporting of yourself in every decision you make. It’s not about “who” you help, it’s about “how” you help them. And what better way is there?
So, allow me to explain how being around for others can be the most amazing thing you could do for someone else, and perhaps even for yourself. You’ve most likely had firsthand experience on doing just that, which is admirable, so consider this an article dedicated to you, dear reader!
To be a good a good listener
You don’t need to find all the right words. Not for this job. Neither you nor the person you’re being there for has to be a conversationalist. A big part of you being there is just to be a good listener.
Listen to them attentively, and say kind words of validation. In fact, validating one’s emotions, including your own, is so important it gives one more wisdom to better accept their strengths and weaknesses, and to better understand the situation at large. But then, why don’t you or anyone actively practice doing it?
Sadly, teaching people to validate their own emotions is not really a celebrated or well-known norm. Many of us weren’t even taught how to do it from a young age. It is also more tragic that not all adults are capable of validating others’ feelings, too, especially for their own children.
Let’s break that cycle; start a new, healthier practice. You can always start doing just that for yourself in what ever circumstance you find yourself in. Then, you can bring about that same change for those closest to you effective immediately.
And remember; if they feel like crying, validate that, too. Don’t let others feel bad for feeling bad. To cry just shows that you’re human. And people are very much capable of feeling pain, as well as feeling for others. That’s where you come in.
Encourage others to have more autonomy
Strictly under no circumstances are you to ever make their decisions for them. Being a good listener doesn’t make you a tactical strategist or a mediator between any two people.
You listen, you nod in agreement. As much as you think you get it; you want to get it, in the end of the day, you’re not as emotionally invested in other people’s problems as they are with their own. Likewise, the consequences of their actions is ultimately to befall on them and not you, at least not so entirely.
You could analyse their problems, set apart the truths from their false perceptions and exaggerations; see things from a bird’s eye view. Present them with the pros and cons of every foreseeable outcome. Then, that’s where you take a step back.
You can’t talk someone into doing something that only seems right by you. If it’s a problem that they are willing to put up with, then let their decisions be made on their own accord, in their own beliefs, and in their best judgement.
Show them what it means to be a supporter
There is a fine line between being someone’s supporter and being a spectator. Though the constant remains the same: there is only so much they could do for you from a distance.
A spectator is someone who claps and cheers for you. They’ll be present for all your standing ovations. They make you feel seen; that all your hard work and struggles have finally paid off. Their appraisal is what motivates you to keep up the façade that impresses them. It’s a feeling of acceptance.
However, the thing about spectators is that they are only going to watch you if they’re certain that you’re going to be a winner. In reality, they’re not there for you. They are only there to celebrate your triumphs with you. And if you’re not the winner, or seemingly unable to have that chance, then all you will be to them is sunk cost, as they move on to the next victor to cheer for.
A supporter on the other hand is someone whose presence and words motivates, influences, and encourages you to strive for your goals. To whether you win or lose, they don’t choose when to call things quits. Supporters want to see your journey all the way through, be it in your successes or your failures. They want to see how either and/or both mould you into the person you will become.
You can be someone’s supporter as many have and will be readily available for you. To have a supporter is a good feeling in and of itself, to be someone else’s supporter is an honour and a privilege. So, take it as such!
Go out and have fun with them
There is absolutely nothing wrong with asking a person for a fun day out. If you plan to have something fun planned out, and would love to have their company, by all means go for it.
People in long periods of difficult situations have this perception that they are alone. They could feel so trapped within the negativity, everyone around them is believed to be in much better places than they are. If that is the case, show them they’re wrong; that they’re not in such bad places after all.
Invite them out over lunch, to go for an evening stroll at the park, or to catch a movie. In those moments when the both of you are having fun, you don’t have to bring up any mention of their struggles. That is unless they bring it up to discuss about it first.
You are just two people having a good time. Let there be an understanding that any past regrets and their future worries are currently non-existent. All that matters is “now”, the spectacular moment you two are sharing together. Have fun in each others’ company!
Give them a call
And do it just because.
Realistically, they can’t say yes to every outing invite you throw at them. And that’s okay. Don’t let distance get in the way of you reaching out to someone who matters so much.
You don’t have to do it always or every day, even. Call them when you think of them and when you most feel like they need it. Just buzz them to ask how they are doing. Let them know that you’re always their safe space.
Granted, it will be much easier to do this with people who are more comfortable with opening up…
So, here’s a fun idea: call them with the intention of telling something funny. Be a reason for them to smile. And if they don’t get your jokes, then that’s fine. You could always move the conversation on by letting them know that they’re on your mind and that their well-being is in your best interest.
Assure them that they’ll be alright, and if things don’t turn out the way they’d want them to, advise them not to see things in absolutes. Not all things are what they seem to be.
Merry Christmas, everyone and happy holidays!
What It Means to Be There for SomeoneTweet
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