11 Ways to Be a Helper
One of the most important decisions we can make as a human is to help someone. Helping others is a natural extension of our own humanity.
There are a couple of key ways to assist others who are struggling. We can give consolation or we can provide information (or explanation). Both ways depend heavily on the needs of the person you are helping as well the type of struggle. Both ways also express compassion and kindness, which is the whole point in the end.
Fred Rogers, of Mr. Rogers Neighborhood, wrote in the Mister Rogers Parenting Book, “To this day, especially in times of ‘disaster,’ I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers — so many caring people in this world.” When he was a boy, afraid because of seeing scary things in the news, his mother would say to him, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”
Let’s look at ways we can all be helpers:
First, everyone grieves in their own way and in their own time frame. Second, whatever you try to do to ease a person’s pain from the loss will only be temporary. A loss is something that must be worked through thoroughly by the person suffering the loss.
Be consoling. Be empathetic and kind. Encourage them to attend support or grief groups. They will meet people who are also experiencing loss and can either just listen or participate as they become ready to do so.
When you hear someone crying or looking down, offer a warm hug. Lend your ear. Let them talk it out and just listen without offering advice. Sometimes people just need to get it out in that moment and release some really sad energy. Let them know it’s okay to let it out and that you are there for them.
Give your support. Maybe offer to go for coffee, a walk, or help with errands. Offer to help them take action by assisting with phone calls, helping with arrangements, or making meals.
Support their emotions in the moment they are feeling them. Allow them to let loose and experience their grief.
You can also gently provide support in the form of information, for instance, a book with daily meditations for the grieving or ideas on crafts that might incorporate the memories of their loved one. For instance making pillows out of the deceased t-shirts, arranging shadow boxes filled with mementos, or planting a memorial garden.
Stop to Help Out
If you see someone looking a bit bewildered, stop and ask if they need help or directions. If you see someone on the road with a flat, pull over and offer to change their tire or use your cell phone.
Probably most of us at one time or another has struggled with our weight. If you know someone who is trying to lose weight, offer to walk with them or go on a bike ride. Maybe they need some support to get them started.
Some people are always trying new fad diets and their weight ping-pongs. Gently encourage small lifestyle changes like what and how to eat, as well as the importance of exercise. Fad diets mainly support industry – practice, patience, and persistence, however, pays off.
Lend an Ear
One of the most important things we can do in life is to learn to REALLY listen. Listen without responding or even thinking of a response. When someone is in need, sometimes the act of just sitting there and lending an ear will bring them some better energy.
Lend your Voice
Stick up for people who either by choice or not, are not able to stick up for themselves. The neglected, sick, homeless, and the bullied are a few examples of people who could use your help. When you see an injustice speak up. And it doesn’t have to be in person only – you can write letters, sign petitions, join a protest, or volunteer.
Sometimes lending your voice simply means giving encouragement. You will be a great helper if you just give encouragement to others as often as you can.
Give compliments often! When you feel it, say it! It will make someone’s day.
Share your Talents / Share your Knowledge
Everyone is good at something. Share what you know with others. Give your time to teach someone what you are good at.
Every day there will be an opportunity to educate another with the knowledge you hold. Just don’t make the mistake of preaching – instead just share.
Not always easy, I know. Be patient with others who are struggling with things. One person might take a little longer to get through something, whereas another person might bounce back more quickly. We all go through things in different time frames and no time frame is normal. Help people deal with their issues as best as you can in the time you have.
Someone would LOVE your Clutter
Box up stuff you are no longer using and donate it. It’s a win-win situation! You get rid of unneeded stuff and someone who needs stuff gets stuff!
Smiles are contagious. Usually, you can’t give one without getting one back – even if it’s half-hearted. Smiles are a simple way to warm someone’s heart.
If you know someone who can help or be of assistance to someone else – connect them (with prior approval of both ahead of time, of course.)
Give Honest Feedback
One of the best things you can do for others is, to be honest. Not mean… just honest. Most people don’t take well to constructive criticism. There’s a huge difference in telling someone they really suck at something and giving them concrete examples on how they could do something differently.
Helping others is always a good thing to do. Not always convenient or easy, sometimes it’s not even well-received, but it’s always right.
KNOW YOUR LIMITS
When someone needs more than you can offer, know your limits. Some people need professional help and an untrained person, no matter how well-intentioned, stepping in can make things worse. Sometimes issues are way bigger than both of you can handle. Know your limits and suggest an experienced professional so they no longer hurt themselves or others.
One of the most important things to remember is there is a big difference between sympathy and empathy.
If you’ve enjoyed this article, please share it with your friends. If you enjoyed the quote images, check out Being Better Humans Books. Thank you.
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