My top 10 secret ways to help a friend in need (without “helping”). ¯\(©¿©) /¯

I often find myself flailing about when faced with a loved one’s problem…
Boys? Money worries? Housemate woes? {•̃̾_•̃̾} …

Emotionally, I must have hit every single emotion branch on the tree, because I feel everything. Not only can I see peoples pain, but I feel it.

Commonsense should prevail; however, we all know there’s nothing common in advice giving. Instead, we search blindfolded for the line between too much and not enough.

Admittedly, I am an overly enthusiastic master of tripping over said line; saying too much, too little or feeling pain which isn’t mine to be felt.

Thanks to a right good slap from self-awareness, I’m here to share some simplistic pearls of wisdom, which may come in handy (especially for this festive season).

Without further adieu…

Here are my 10 super simple ways to help (without actually helping) (″・ิ_・ิ)っ

  1. Open your ears and close your mouth.
    Less is often more when it comes to giving advice. Simply just listening to someone can be one of the best and the often most helpful way to begin.
  2. Know when to open your mouth…
    Now, this is a tricky task for the most affluent advice gurus… Don’t dismay, it can be learned! With tip #1 in play, take a really good look at your person in need.
    Based on the knowledge you’ve gathered on their body language, verbal cues, etc. jump in!
  3. “I am here for you.”
    So what can you say when you are trying to help without helping? (¤﹏¤)
    “I am here for you” may sound really generic but trust, this is one phrase which shows without telling the person you love you’re present with them in a time of need.
  4. “It’s okay to feel XYZ”.
    Another extremely uplifting phrase in my book is: “It’s okay to feel XYZ”.
    Simple, yes, but generic? No.
    Through this simple phrase, you validate their feelings, rather than denigrate or dismiss. Validation of someone’s feelings is one of the many impacting elements contributing to mental health and general outlook on life.
    Saying that how someone is feeling is absolutely okay, can change their entire outlook on the situation.
  5. Draw from your own past experiences.
    I know when I ask for help, I ask a trusted and knowledgeable friend. Take pride in being asked for guidance, it’s a massive compliment!
    Simply apply your own experiences, following tips #1 and #2, to the situation at hand. Lead in with a small piece of advice to test the waters.
  6. Nod.
    Easy to do, and effective with a capital E my friends. Nodding is a great tool for visual, but non-verbal encouragement.
  7. Ask questions.
    Through asking a short question such as:
    “Can we work on this together?”
    “Is that all we can actually do to fix this?” or

    “Are there any other possible positive outcomes?”
    You allow the conversation to shift. Instead, replacing the traditional closed language with this open-ended modern collaboration of minds!

  8. Use the royal we.
    Sounds odd, but stay with me. By using the all-inclusive “we” instead of “you”, it can change how your language sounds or is perceived.
    “How do you think we could fix this?” VS. “How do you think you could fix this?”.
  9. Offer non-physical consolidation.
    Not everyone feels comfortable with physical affection.

    It may be painful or cause sensory overload.
    Instead, console with compassionate words, a smile, a promise of adventure, a 30-second dance party or even a hand-drawn picture.
    Things such as these are gemstones.

  10. Offer physical consolidation. (*^U^)人(≧V≦*)/
    Taking into consideration tip #9, because every single person’s feelings are important and need respect, give them a bear hug!
    But remember homies, less is sometimes more.

Let me know in the comments if any of these tips hit a chord with you, or have thought of some you’d like to add!

Sharing is caring. ôヮô

Until the next time,
Zoe xo
P.s. Wishing you all safe travels for your holidays and Christmas/non-Xmas celebrations Y’all!

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