How You Can Be There for A Family Member in Need

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Your family members are the people who you can count on above all others to be there for you. Within this tight unit of support, it is so important that you know how to be there for the ones you love in return.

Being there for someone in need may initially seem simple and intuitive, but to be an effective shoulder for your family to cry on, it is worth getting some additional advice.

To help you out, this quick guide is going to walk you through how to be there when any member of your family needs some extra support and what to do when it goes beyond your capabilities.

The basics of supporting your family members

As with learning anything, you need to start with the basic principles of giving emotional support so that you have a strong foundation to build up from. This foundation can be summed up in three, easy to follow steps, like so:

Being able to really listen to someone’s problems and not try to interrupt pre-emptively with advice and cut them off is a real skill that needs to be mastered. The best way to do this is to patiently take in all that your family member has to say and wait until they come to a natural stop before speaking.

  • Don’t minimise what they are going through

It is perfectly natural to respond to someone who is going through a hard time with lots of optimism and encourage them to look on the bright side, but this is often the wrong thing to do. Even though you do this with good intentions, the effect of this method is that it actually erases the valid feelings of the person that you are trying to support, making them feel unheard.

  • Be careful not to bite off more than you can chew

To be there for someone that you love in your family means that you have to be in the right headspace to take on the emotional weight of another person’s problems. If you start to find that this person is leaning on you so much that you aren’t coping anymore, then it is time to look into what else can be done.

What to do when your family needs more

It is not always possible for you to provide all the help your family member will need, and, in this situation, it is always the right call to involve a professional. For example, if your loved one is dealing with a deep-seated emotional struggle, getting them to see a therapist or a doctor would be the right course of action. If they are going through a battle with addiction, then looking into is highly advisable.

Always remember: You can’t support someone else unless you feel supported and healthy as well. It is perfectly okay to accept that there will be times where you are out of your depth and can’t cope, and your family will understand this.

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