Support those who support you. Too often, we can be so overwhelmed with our own issues, that we fail to notice what others are going through. If we’re not careful, we will fail to be present for those who are always there for us.
Ashley and I are going through a transition right now, but so are several of those we care about. It would be very easy to develop tunnel vision, yet that wouldn’t be fair to all those who support us.
I’d like to share three ways to be present for those you love. First, mentally review your most recent conversations, and interactions with them. Did they seem okay? Were they worried about something, or seem depressed?
Second, follow up. Whether you noticed anything or not, ask how they’re doing. Don’t pry, merely be available in case they need a shoulder, or a sounding board. They may not want to talk about anything, just to see that you are engaged in their lives.
Third, and most importantly, don’t share your opinion unless asked. If asked, remember to be kind. While you would never intentionally hurt anyone, keep this in mind. You will say it once, but their brain will replay it over and over. Without question, people need our ears and our hearts much more, than our words and thoughts.
It isn’t a referendum on the quality of our advice. They will invite your input, but your love will do far more than anything else could. Be present for those you love, let them know they are as precious to you, as you are to them. Support those who support you. Love, listen, and stand with them.