How to provide emotional support, in 6 steps

When it comes to going through particularly smelly times in our lives, we often tend to forget that these negative emotions and feelings are experienced in a very different way if we have the support of others. Sadness, helplessness or disillusion should not be experienced in isolation; if we live in society, it is to receive help and to help others.

In fact, it is normal that when we see someone with a mental illness, we feel the need to help them. But knowing how to provide emotional support is not necessarily easy, And it’s relatively easy to make mistakes.

    Tips on how to provide emotional support

    In the following lines, we will see several tips on how to provide emotional support from relatively simple steps. Getting it right takes a bit of practice, but with time and effort you will likely see significant improvements in the way you do things. help the other to cope better with their bad emotional situation.

    1. Choose the right context

    Choosing the right time and the right place is a necessary and insufficient condition for knowing how to provide emotional support.

    The most important thing is to be in a period that is not transient, that is to say that it will not end any time soon (for example, the passage in an elevator), that it is not strongly related to a significant experience unrelated to its discomfort (e.g. concluding a presentation at a conference) i which allows you to have some privacy.

    The physical characteristics of the site are also to be kept in mind. Much better if it is a place with little distraction and where communication is easy: without noise, without abrupt changes, etc.

      2. Let the other person give the information they want

      It is important not to put pressure on the other to give us all the information we need to know exactly how they are feeling. Just feeling this pressure is another cause of stress which accentuates the discomfort.

      In case you notice that he is getting closer to the group, just give him the opportunity to open up more by expressing directly that he can count on you for anything, and that he notices that he doesn’t. will not be judged.

      For the latter, it is necessary to maintain a serious set that expresses empathy, and don’t joke too much about the possible cause of the other person’s emotional pain. It is a mistake to suggest that what makes you feel bad is actually nonsense, because from that point of view it is impossible to connect with the other.

      3. Engage in active listening

      When the person is speaking, it is important that you give signs that you are making an effort to understand what they are saying and the implications of what they are saying. Being honest about what makes us feel bad is something that intimidates a lot of people already, and if you don’t feel like it is serving you well either, the incentives to accept our support go away.

      To do this, practice active listening and make this moment a true symmetrical personal interaction in which one person expresses himself and the other supports him and tries to understand how the other is feeling. Keep eye contact, make comments without abruptly interrupting, Summarize the information given by the other, etc.

        4. Validate your emotions

        This clearly shows that you know what you are feeling makes sense, even if you clearly don’t feel the same way. This is important, because otherwise it is taken for granted that there is a disconnect between you because you have not been going through the exact same thing. Don’t ridicule their ideas or feelings, on the contrary, it shows that you know they are right.

        5. Speak from your point of view

        This is something that is often overlooked, but is very useful. It is true that when it comes to emotional support what matters is what it feels like to experience emotional distressBut it is also true that if you tell him what you believe, you will indicate that you are involved in your case and you will try to draw parallels between what is happening to him and what has already happened to you. Additionally, this perspective can help you see your experiences from another perspective.

        So when you have heard the gist of your case, you can give it this brief feedback, but without letting the conversation touch on an entirely different topic: it has to be something that is included in the act of supporting it in a way. that happens to him.

        6. Highlight the possibility of a hug

        It is possible to give rise to that, if the other person wants it, you give yourself a hug. But you don’t have to ask it directly or make a clear gesture that shows you’re going to hug, because in case you don’t want to, it can leave a bad taste in your mouth when you feel guilty if refuse you.

        Usually the best thing is something more subtle – a few hits on the shoulder or back that gives an excuse to approach you and which, if the other wants it, can turn into a hug. Let the other take this step.

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