Five ways to be there for someone by showing kindness
November 13, 2019
the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate.
As we journey through life, there are many instances where we are given the chance to choose kindness. Can you think of an example? Maybe your friend was going through a hard situation and you lended emotional support. Or, maybe you saw someone struggling in class and you chose to offer your assistance. Maybe you noticed an elderly person sitting alone at a restaurant and you chose to start a conversation. Maybe you paid for the person in line behind you. These may seem like small displays of kindness to you, but these acts can make a BIG difference for others.
Sometimes, it's easy to know how to help someone. Other times, it can be really difficult to decipher if someone is struggling. It can be even harder to know how to be there for them. While this type of kindness can take more time and effort, it's well worth it.
Here's what you can do...
1. Ask questions. Do you take time to check in on your friends, family, neighbors, co-workers or other acquaintances? Believe it or not, taking a moment to chat with someone who is struggling can make all the difference to them. This can also help you find out who might be needing some extra support or kindness.
2. Listen intently. Equally as important as asking the questions is being present during the actual conversation. Give your full attention and try to offer valuable responses.
3. Validate their feelings/situations. One of the worst things you can do to a person is to make them feel like their problems or worries are invalid. Don't do this. Instead, let them know that you understand what they're saying and it's ok for them to feel this way.
4. Provide encouragement. Did you know a simple compliment or some encouragement can go a long way? Sometimes, just a few kind words can work to "cheer up" someone.
5. Offer to help/Give your time. If you are able to, ask how you can help. If someone you know is battling grief/loss and they are feeling lonely, maybe you might offer to have a phone call every week, or check in with them via text in the evenings.
We know it's not always easy to show kindness, especially to someone who hurt your feelings or disrespected you in some way. However, if you stop to reflect, you might realize that this person could be fighting a battle you know nothing about. In the end, kindness and love will always win. You'll find out that when you lend a hand, start a conversation or show a smile, you will feel a lot better, too. So, above all else, always choose to be kind.
If you or someone you know is need of mental health support, please call us at 308-210-8487 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.