Thursday, April 26, 2012

Thoughts on showing support

 I was just writing something and wanted to expand on a thought.  I think this is something that has always rung true for Trever and me but it's more present in our life right now.  I know someone else who I was very close to at one time, as her husband was taking an unexpected path and their life was changing I know a lot of people said "positive, loving" statements that just really didn't help.  It's good to acknowledge that someone means well, but it's tiring after awhile.

We know that people are coming from a place of love.  They are probably offering the only thing they know how to say, and they probably haven't experienced anything difficult enough to know that those statements really aren't very helpful to the average person.  However, those statements might be helpful to them personally... that's the tricky thing with people.  We all need something different.

For me, someone asking questions is more helpful than giving me their hope or their needs.  Saying "I'm sorry", "Is there anything I can do", "I'll pray for you", "You're in my thoughts", "Do you need a drink? (haha)" are all statements that don't ask someone to conform to your ideas.

Our biggest goal is to be true to how we feel, at the same time keeping our focus on all that we have to be grateful for.

We've learned that it NEVER helps when someone tries to remind you of this... it has to come from the inside.  I'm just putting that out there in case that helps someone who is wanting to offer support to someone else someday.  Saying something like "well, you just need to focus on the blessings in your life" is the same as telling someone that they aren't justified in being sad/angry/confused.  Although I absolutely believe the statement is true, I just don't believe it comes across as helpful.  When someone mentions a blessing and you encourage them by acknowledging how great it is that they can see those blessings, that is more helpful.

Telling them how it could be worse isn't so helpful either.  Especially if it's wrapped up in a story about how someone else had it worse.  Yeah, thanks.

Basically, telling someone how to get through something is not very helpful, not really that thoughtful.  Each person processes differently.  I would have no idea how to tell someone to get through a situation similar to this.

Enough of my soapbox, in clarification we have been so thankful for everyone who has reached out.  Every message we get is so important.  We are grateful for the people who keep us in their thoughts and share that with us.  We are SO grateful when someone shares how Abby has made a positive impact on their life.  What a blessing that is!!  It's always better to hear something rather than nothing, even when it doesn't come across as helpful it's still nice to be thought of.

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