31 July 2014

Be Supportive

So many people I run into in my work and personal life do not have a clear understanding of what it means to be supportive or to request someone else to be supportive for that matter.

There are some people who think that being supportive means agreeing with everything they say or do. If you disagree with their method they are quick to say "You are not being supportive". It is possible to be supportive while at the same time disagreeing with someone. For example, you can say "it isn't what I would do, but if you think that's the best thing for you to do, I support your decision to do that" or you could say "I'm not sure it is wise, but I'm behind you 100%". If what they are doing is completely off base, feel free to say "I'm sorry, I cannot be supportive of this, I don't agree with it, but I hope it works out for you".

Even more difficult for people it seems, is to set themselves aside and actually BE supportive. I know you all know that one person that manages to turn every. single. thing. that happens to you into something they've gone through, are currently experiencing, have been through worse, or know someone who knew someone who met someone at a wedding who knew someone once ten years ago who went through something very similar.

Those kind of people suck.

Even better are the people who will ask you about something while already forming in their minds how they are going to turn it into some problem or issue they have with you. So while you're down at your lowest point, they're kicking you in the face doing even further damage by bringing up some wrongdoing you may or may not be guilty of.

Seriously? NOW is the time for you to bring this up? You suck.

Being supportive is an important skill if you hope to gain support from someone further down the road. Hell, even if you don't, it is still a good skill to have if you hope to find, make, and keep relationships.

It amazes me how many times I will see or hear someone being an absolute jerk to someone they know doesn't have the time or energy to deal with their issue.

In my personal life, this has happened no less than three times this week alone. It boggles the mind.

If you cannot be supportive, or you're unwilling to be supportive, try staying silent.

Sometimes it is imperative that you set yourself aside, let it be about someone else for a change, and simply offer a word of hope, a hand of friendship, or a warm hug.

Trust me, it WILL come back to you.

If you are reading this, take a minute to think about times you've been less than supportive of someone around you and imagine how it would feel if when you really needed someone, they completely failed you. Then make a promise to try your hardest not to be that person.

That is all.

Be gentle, my people. The world is missing a lot of gentle these days.
Be kind.
Be supportive.