We’ve all “been there” haven’t we? Found ourselves in circumstances which, either by poor choice, impulsive actions, or reasons beyond our control, are seemingly overpowering us? We may be stressing out over the perceived outcome, or the process necessary to achieve finality, or perhaps both. We may be emotionally sidetracked by revisiting the history involved.
It is at those times when friendly support is really necessary, and usually appreciated. So often however, that gesture of support is seemingly not offered, with the resulting perspective that you are “on your own”.
Stress, in all its many variations, can so easily dictate irrational and/or self-harming actions. In extreme cases, life can take on a meaning of total futility, and the resulting solution can be devastating. In many cases however, the effects of the stress can be reduced by simply ensuring that the person does not believe that they are on their own.
The issue would seem to be not that one does not have good friends, but that those friends simply do not know what to say when confronted with difficult and perhaps sensitive situations. It is an insecurity that dictates ” I have nothing to offer my friend who is having issues.” It is a lack of forethought that dictates “What could I possibly say that would help?” It could be a lack of experience if you have lead a totally stress free life (I don’t know anybody like that!), and then you may be excused for having no concept of what would really be appreciated and, perhaps, necessary.
In what can often appear to be a very complex set of circumstances, a simple “If there is anything I can do……” may make a huge difference. It does not take any skill that we don’t already possess, and may produce significant results. In so many cases there is nothing you will be able to do, but that reality is secondary. The primary goal is to simply say that they are not on their own with their issues. If there is a spiritual awareness, then a simple offer to pray for them could have so much meaning.
If we have a friend who is clearly having difficulties coping with their challenges, then we all have the ability to assure them that they are not on their own. We all have the ability to listen while they express themselves. We all have the ability to say and/or show… that we care about them.
The whole concept of caring is really nothing more than thinking “If I were in that situation, how would I like my friends to treat me?” For many of us, our response would be “I wouldn’t want to bother my friends. They couldn’t help anyway!” My experience has been that while that is a common response, the question “Would I like to be ignored, and feel totally isolated, while dealing with a major crisis?” results in a quite different answer!
To my friends who are currently going through some very difficult and traumatic times, you already know how to get in touch with me if necessary so… if there is anything I can do… !