Are You Supportive?

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If there’s one thing that disappoints me, it’s someone who cannot or does not show compassion. I keep a lot of things to myself. Sometimes when I reach my breaking point, I call someone to provide myself the opportunity to vent. The problem is, I always choose to call the wrong person. What I need is for someone to listen. I need someone to say I’m sorry you are going through this but you will make it through. Unfortunately, what I get is how I contribute to my own problems and what I should and shouldn’t have done. That causes my anxiety to skyrocket and on top of the guilt and struggle I already face, I now need to dodge the guilt and blame being fired at me from the other end of the line.

I do the best I can. I make the choices I think are right at the time. I think about and over- think every decision I make. I even make mistakes. I get it wrong plenty of times and I have to live with that. I feel it physically every day when my heart feels like it’s about to explode out of my chest. I hold myself and others very accountable and the pressure I put on myself to get it right and keep it together is more than most people could bear.

Why am I telling you this? I don’t want pity. I want you to understand. I want you to be supportive and kind and empathetic when someone reaches out to you during a tough time. I don’t want you to say, you need to calm down, I want you to say, I’m here to listen. Please remember this post next time you are tempted to give someone struggling your opinion or advice. Sometimes, they just need a little love and if you can give that to someone who desperately needs it, you will make a tremendous difference in someone’s life. Listen. Support. Be kind. Keep your criticism to yourself. Isn’t that what everyone wants?

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32 thoughts on “Are You Supportive?

  1. Just Plain Ol' Vic

    I am very supportive of my wife and children, but I will be honest I am pretty indifferent when it comes to strangers. I don’t think it is a lack of caring, it is just that all my focus is inwards and there is little left for anyone else. One good thing is blogging on WordPress has opened me up some more and perhaps made me more aware and empathetic to the struggles of others.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m a guy and generally we’re most likely to just give advice or solutions when people confide in us. I have found however that just listening actually goes a long way. More people, guys especially, need to see this.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. If that person who throws stuff back at you can and will help you “get through,” that’s better than a pat on the back and an “I’m sorry life’s been rough for you.” There’s a pillow to cry on and then there’s a pillow with arms and a brain that can not only catch the tears but help you process them into fuel for success. And then, there’s the negative voice and nothing else that just brings you down, the imp in sheep’s clothing. But, I prefer to find the helpful pillow.

    I do think part of the healing process may require some hard truths, though. It’s the best counselor who can help you work through pain to find relief. Otherwise, that pillow who just says “sorry” can get very wet and very useless, or feel used, after a while. You can only hug that Teddy Ruxbin so many times before you get tired of hearing the pre-recorded “sorry” message, too.

    So, maybe this chatty pillow you grabbed could be more patient and wait to advise until you’ve sufficiently spilled your tears, like a “good therapist.” But, I hope they understand what they are being ASKED to do in advance, too.

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    • I just needed an ear. Not a pillow πŸ˜‰ I wasn’t even upset just extremely frustrated. Believe me, the hard truths always come for me. I don’t need them repeated by anyone else. Especially when I confide in someone who knows how much I’ve been affected so physically lately. I need to help stay calm, not get angry or more upset. It’s a tough call, deciding which is healthier, getting things out or keeping to myself. Seems like a double edge sword .(

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      • The ear is a human body part attached to many nerves and whatnot. Thus it has feelings and sensitivities. It may respond in pain or pleasure. A pillow–as far as I know–has no such components. Thus it cannot react in any way that might upset the person crying into it for comfort. So, if you want no response (other than “I’m sorry” which could be recorded on some sort of voice-recording gizmo you get in Hallmark product), you may as well expect some form of reaction, good or bad. Take your chances. A person is capable of more than a pillow. Will you take the risk again? Sure you will. You’re human. πŸ™‚ And, you’ll get though it, good or bad. Or, die trying.

        Well, the way you write these things, I picture this little puppy dog yipping as if some big dog stepped on her cute little tail. And, once the lil dog is yipping, there’s no way to settle her down. Maybe even a bowl of treats won’t do the trick. She has to settle herself down before you can reason with her.

        But, I can understand and respect your side if you DO face your own hard truths. Still, if the “pillow” is as soft as you say you desire, what if that is TOO soft? What if you become addicted to the drug of no response and refuse to let it go? What if your drug source becomes soured by all the tears and venting he/she has been asked to absorb? What if good intentions turn that “pillow” into an enemy…all because you became accustomed to pouring your problems into them?

        Perhaps, that person you went to had heard enough, and the dam finally broke. Think about the flow of energy and what you are putting out.

        And, sometimes, even when we get more upset, we break through walls in our own minds. Sometimes more frustration inspires us. We just don’t see that ahead of time. So, we face some uphill battles and get the wisdom we needed, anyway.

        But, if I was your counselor, I’d want to be more helpful in an active way than just listening to your woes. All that energy has to go somewhere. And, to think I can hold everyone’s woes and not let it out or give back in some way, to put that energy to use…is a recipe for my own disaster.

        HUGS. I wish I could at least hold ya and douse some of the flames, though.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Flames yes. That is what I was feeling and for the record, the I told You so was from my mother who should, as a mother understand that many things are often out of our control not limited to but including everything that goes on with our children. So mom to mom I would have appreciated empathy. More than anyone else, she knows every detail of my life and how hard I work for everyone and everything around me. I appreciate your response and kindness. I guess when you put yourself out for the world to see, you don’t know if you will get applaud or an apple thrown at your head and it is a risk every single time πŸ˜‰

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      • If you went to your mother as an ear, I could have told you it would not go well…at least, from experience with my mother:P

        I’d go on, but today is not a day to talk about my mother.

        It’s also possible the mom you loved once and knew has changed with age. That happens, too. One minute, she’s just Elsa, and then she’s the terribly cold ice queen feared like ogres in Far Far Away. πŸ˜›

        Liked by 1 person

      • Well, if you wanted comfort, how could you get it going to Mom angry? She probably felt threatened and wanted to don some armor before handling your hotness. I suppose she would have been nicer had you been in tears and feeling blue instead of seeing red. I don’t know too many who can handle red-hot fury. That’s why they invented punching bags. πŸ˜€

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  4. koppieop

    Gabriela, 7 or 8 years young and living in a city 2.000 kilometers away, was staying on holidays with relatives, neighbors of ours. One day, she entered our garden, crying. Turns out, she was angry with her dad because he had not allowed her to do something she wanted to do. I showed her a little trick, that dried her tears and made her go back happy.

    About thirty years later, she reminded me of the episode. Of course, I remembered it quite well, but could not recall the joke that had made her day. Gabriela did, and now I cannot help telling you what it was; I’m sure it will amuse both children and adults:

    You ask him how many fingers he has. Unless he knows the trick, the obvious answer will be ten. Then request him to spread out his fingers before you, and after his confirmation of the number, you start counting backwards: 10, 9, 8, 7, 6. – Pause – Plus 5 on the other hand makes, how many??? …. Cheers.-

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