We’re stronger together, but knowing how to help can be tricky. Explore how to be there for other people, give advice and be more supportive to friends and colleagues.
Despite our disagreements, the backdrop of human civilisation is actually one of kindness. For every angry mob smashing the place up, there are millions of other people cleaning up after them, helping out strangers and looking after each other. We have the capacity to be cruel, but we have a greater capacity to be kind.
Helping people isn’t easy though. Despite our natural tendency to help other people out, it can be hard knowing the right thing to say, when to give advice and how to support people without taking over or making them feel disempowered.
Listening is key here, of course, and there are various techniques that can help us support people better, from how we ask questions to finding constructive ways to give advice and offer support. The right combination of empathy, understanding and friendly challenge can often help people see their way through a problem.
Good intentions aren’t everything though. Sometimes our desire to help can make things worse. We need to find non-intrusive ways to be there for each other, that promote autonomy, respect privacy, and don’t put our own wellbeing at risk in our compassion for others.