About the Episode:
It’s human instinct to want to comfort someone, tell them it’s ok, and help them through a tough time. But, many of us go about it the wrong way.
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- A Lot of times people won’t like your advice
- Asking someone how you could support them in the moment
- Don’t try to give people a new perspective
- Show you’re there for people
- Check-in with them
- Do NOT compare yourself to the situation
What’s shakin’? Hey, I’m Rick Jordan today we’re going all in. Everybody’s had people come to them with issues they’ve been struggling with in life. And today I’m gonna give you some ways to support them because sometimes it seems like you really want to jump in there and help, and you really wanna just help them fix something. And a lot of times, they’re like standoffish, right? And I see individuals have these interactions, or I, I’ve had these interactions like, you know, I, I just want, I just want to like throw something outta you real quick because maybe I need to vent. And I, I did a whole episode on venting before and how to make sure that that person is there to hold the space for you and how, if you’re venting multiple times, it’s really like leaning into victimhood a lot more rather than venting once and then taking action on it.
But it helps when you have somebody good to vent to. And there are ways to support people, because I think this is true for most people, right? I believe that 99% of people actually really are good and want to do good for other people. So how do you support somebody the best when something’s going on? A lot of these methods I use, and they’re actually really cool because it shows them that you’re there to help them at the time when they need help in the way that you want them to. So I’m going to give you these. That way the next time somebody comes to vent to you, by the way, there’s a benefit for you in this too, because it preserves your own energy. Because a lot of times people might not like some advice that you give them, but to be straight up, sometimes that advice is unsolicited.
Like they’re not asking, actually asking for your advice. You know, not all the time is it for you to put somebody in their place about something. It could be sometimes, but that’ll help you preserve your energy and actually meet somebody and s support them and show them the way that or support them in the way that they really want to be supported. Do you know? And it, so here’s the first one, right? Number one is to ask them this question, like, how can I support you right now? That’s a very key question, because as they’re going through, so it’s like, you know, starting to say things and being like, well, I would do this, or I would do that, like, right off the bat, you know, that’s not actually listening to, to hear them, it’s really just listening to respond. And this is like natural human tendency to jump in and really help point out things in other people’s lives, especially because it helps you distract yourself from the things that are going on in your own lives.
Like, you can get so fired up about somebody else and something going on in their life that you just want to jump in there and be like, Hey, you should fix this. You should shift that way. And a lot of times it’s a reflection on your own self because it’s a piece of you that you don’t like when you when somebody’s struggling, the very first question, when they tell you that they’re, it’s like, Hey, how can I support you right now? You know, they do not even know, and that’s very key on this, and that’s okay too, but just that one question shows them that you’re there for them, you know? And when you do that, number two is don’t try to give them a new perspective on something, you know, not like, God, I hate these phrases, you know, have you ever heard this? I’m gonna get fired up now, right?
Oh, it was meant to happen. He goes, Screws that, right? Or you’re better off, you know, whatever. You know, that’s, they’re most of the time that person or you, when you’ve heard that, have you been in the right place to hear that at that point in time? Or, you know, we don’t get more in life than what we can’t handle. That comes from a biblical phrase, right? Which is taken so out of context, and then people use it over and over and over again, to minimize, minimize feelings of the person that’s struggling. When you’ve heard that, how did you feel when you’ve heard like that perspective of it, oh, it was meant to happen, or you’re better off, or you don’t get more than you can handle it. It minimizes your feelings about the scenario in that place, and it will for the person you’re telling that to.
It’s a horrible way to approach this thing because I know you don’t want to hear that. You’ve heard that you feel so small, and it’s almost condescending, right? So, that’s like number two is don’t try to give them that kind of new perspective in something. Questions are the best way, just like the first one that I told you to ask is, how can I support you right now? Right? Because when you, when, when you don’t do number two and give them a new perspective when really it’s not the time for it, you can actually flow right into number three, which is validating their perspective. What that person is feeling is what that person is feeling, period. If anything else, you will just minimize their emotions out of this. People have the right to feel what they’re going to feel. There can come a time and place because here the thing is that this is reciprocating, right?
And the person might not be in that, in that, in that state yet. I talked about victimhood earlier, right? They may feel that, but that’s their way of getting it out. And even though it’s not right, and it will do them, Harmon, it’s toxic. They still have something that they’re feeling about that at the moment, and their feelings matter. So validating their perspective can help in that, because it’s just saying, Hey, uh, I’m hearing you right? You can say, I can’t imagine how painful that was. A lot of times you might not have done or been through the same situation, and if you have, it’s also not a time to say, oh, I know I’ve been there, right? It’s just the same thing is say, man, like I, a phrase I’ll use is, oh, that sucks, or, that really sounds horrible, you know, or, or, I can’t imagine how, as I said, I can’t imagine how painful that is for you, you know, because you’re not in their shoes. But at the same time when you say this, like, that sucks. It validates not necessarily what they’re feeling, but it validates that it’s their right to feel something. Did you follow that? It’s not your responsibility when you’re supporting to validate what you’re feeling. It’s validating that their emotions are okay. Their emotions do not have to be hidden. Their emotions are something that should be expressed and it’s just okay to feel something rather than minimize that.
The next step to supporting this person, number four, is really just like checking in with them, right? You can end, the conversation or just periodically just say, Hey, you know, I’m here when you need me, and that could be for anything. When you make yourself available to people, people will tend to lean on you. No joke. If you’re somebody who really loves lifting up somebody else and really helping them sort through some things in their lives, it has to be their choice to allow you to be in that position. It has to be their choice. Forcing yourself and being like, you know what? I’m just gonna give you my unsolicited opinion about this, and I’m just gonna tell you what to do and all this other stuff. It’s like, no, you just say, I’m here if you need me. Did you catch that?
Because when they need you and you reaffirm that with the, by checking in with them from time to time, they’ll know that you were there for them, especially if you’ve already validated their feelings. Especially if you’ve already asked the question, how can I support you? And especially if you did not minimize their feelings about whatever situation that is, they’re going to know that you have genuinely good intentions to help them in the way that they feel they need help. Right? The next one, number five, I believe, I don’t know how many am I doing so far. I think this is number five. All right, so here we go. Don’t compare, and I, I touched on that just a little bit ago. Like, oh, you know, I’ve been there, or everyone has this happened to them, or everyone grieves and processes things in their own, in their own way, or, you know, this happened to so-and-so too.
This is what they did. You know, don’t compare in these situations, you know, you can use certain things as examples and say, Hey, what did you think about when this person did that? See how that’s phrased differently? Because it causes them, remember how I said it has to be their choice? It, causes them to start to think and process themselves. Or you ask ’em the question, it’s like, do you, do you feel like this is the same thing that, that maybe this person went through, or, or have you ever seen anybody else who known somebody else that’s gone through this before? How did they act on this? How did they react to this? You know, you’re putting them in a position, to start searching for answers themselves rather than shoving answers on top of them. Comparison is never a good method to support somebody, because then again, it’s just minimizing their situation.
Before we talked about minimizing their feelings, but now you’re minimizing their situation. Supporting them is to allow them to search for some answers themselves so that they can make the comparison. It’s, it’s up to them. Like, so, so do, do you know anybody that’s gone through this? How did they respond? You know what, well, what about this was this person’s situation similar? You know, you’re asking them and you’re allowing them to make that decision themselves. This last one, number six is where I’m gonna leave it today because it’s, it’s something that I absolutely love to do, and this whole theme is just showing somebody that you’re there for them. Showing somebody in, in certain ways, you know, and using questions rather than statements and, and validating what they’re going through rather than minimizing emotions in the situation. This last thing, I love it because it’s, it’s a way that I love showing up for anybody, whether they’re struggling or not, and it’s something that I’ve learned that is just absolutely incredible.
There are things that I will do, right? You can ask ’em, it’s say, Hey, can I send groceries over to your house? You know, or Can I, can I DoorDash your family some dinner tonight? Or I will just say, I will go as far as say, you know what? Because I know it’s a way that I can help, and I try to put myself in there. She’s being like, oh, you know what? How about I send dinner tonight? How about I DoorDash, you, you know what? I’m gonna DoorDash your dinner. What is this person like in your house? What is, what does your family enjoy most? You know, then, then you, you’ve already gone down that path mentally with them, you know? Or do you want me to come over and, and take care of something for you, mow the lawn, or, or just watch your kids for a little bit so you can get out for a moment, maybe go have a glass of wine, clear your head, go have a Starbucks, whatever, or, that’s one thing that I absolutely love doing to show people my appreciation, show them that I’m thinking about them, showing that I’m there for them.
It, it’s super simple. It’s one of the best things that I’ve ever thought has ever come to an iPhone. An iMessage is the Starbucks app where you can just fricking digitally send a gift card right there in messages. It’s awesome. I will randomly do this for people all the time, cuz it’s so simple. Even if it’s just 10 bucks, five bucks, whatever, and be like, Hey, I’m thinking about you. Maybe this is something that, that can just put a smile on your face today. You know, just those little things are offering to make life easier for them in whatever situation that they’re going through right now, that they’re struggling. It’s a way to show up for them and say, I’m here and I’m thinking about you. It’s freaking awesome. Take these to heart because I know that most of you listening, you know, 99% of you, right? I, I, the, I’m sure some people are thinking, Hey, am I the one out of a hundred? No, no, you’re not. I’m sure everybody listening right now has very good intentions and loves supporting people and loves being there for people. It’s actually something that’s very fulfilling to bring a smile to somebody’s face or just be able to support them through a rough time in life. These are ways to do it. Go ALL IN.