There are various ways of expressing your love and support to people around you. Sometimes, all you need is to be with a person when they’re feeling down. Sometimes you need to be a bit more involved. Other times, you need to give them space and let them process their emotions.
The different ways of expressing love and support are important- just as the different people who can offer you support. Friends and family, or even close coworkers, may be able to lift your spirits by giving social and emotional support, but the question is, how can you return it? In this article, we’ll look at what emotional support is and how you can show it.
Defining Emotional Support
Emotional support is really about offering love and support, encouragement, acceptance, and of course, reassurance that you’ll be there for them no matter what. During tough or sad times, it’s particularly critical to show this since it helps to maintain the relationship and offers a stable basis for both partners.
In simple terms, emotional support is loving them and offering yourself for them no matter what. Here are a few examples of how to show that, but first, let’s discuss one of the most important aspects, and that’s not judging them.
Acceptance, Not Judgement
Let’s face it: nobody likes being judged for anything. Especially if a person finds themselves in a bad circumstance due to their activities, they may already harbor self-doubt and self-judgment. When people ask for help, they do not want to hear criticism, even if it is provided constructively and with good intentions. When giving help, avoid thinking about what they should have done or where they went wrong- it’s already happened after all.
Avoid questions that might be understood as accusatory because they’re already feeling guilt and shame over it. You might not be expressing any intentional criticism, but the people use conveys a lot of emotion, and your voice can reflect feelings you don’t want to express openly. Focusing on empathizing first, and any “solution” you can offer should be offered when your loved one is in a more manageable state of emotions.
Offer Comfort in Moments of Failure. We don’t always want to hear that everything will be OK. The truth is often difficult enough, and blindly assuming that it’s going to be OK can just make it even worse. The truth is that people want to know that if things aren’t going well, they can count on you to be there for them.
Offer moral and emotional support to someone by telling them that you’ll be there whether they succeed or not. Of course, it’s best to remind them failure is fine and that everyone experiences it in life.
Physical Intimacy Is a Strong Symbol of Love. Especially when it comes to loved ones going through palliative treatment or medical procedures, a sense of loving touch might be what they need. That’s why many doctors suggest holding the hands of patients- because physical intimacy can do wonders in expressing love.
Tell Them Their Emotions Are Valid. The main goal when offering emotional support should be to create a safe space where your loved ones can feel safe to express their emotions. This includes avoiding advising until it’s requested, as well as not downplaying what the other person may be thinking or feeling. You need to assure your loved ones that their emotions are a perfectly natural response and that you are not here to judge or condemn them.
Compliment them In Front of the Public. One of the most uplifting things you can do is praise your loved ones in front of other people, like colleagues or coworkers. It will not only help them feel better about themselves, but it will also make them feel better about themselves. Think about it. You’re sharing someone valuable to the world!
Do Things that Make Them Happy
Finally, it’s important to make them happy by doing things that make them happy. Create a short list of things that they enjoy. This will be your starting point on what you can do to brighten up your day. It can either be a gesture, something that they like when you do it, or can be a gift, like their favorite food. It’s in these little things that will truly show how much you care about them.