I believe that one of the most helpful ways to assist someone is to be a reliable support system.
Many times, people are left to their own devices and dependability to complete their tasks and achieve their goals, which subsequently contributes to significant (and unnecessary, in my opinion) failures and shortcomings. In these scenarios, I’ve found that though “help” was usually nearby; the goal was still not met.
We hear things like, “Why didn’t you call? Why didn’t you say something? You know I’m here for you. If you need anything, just let me know.” …all very REactive responses.
Sometimes it seems to me like the person that needs help is generally expected to initiate that exchange. If they are truly the one “in need”, it could be quite beneficial, in their undertaking, if things are PROactively addressed and identified.
My suggestion: Start with the little things.
The little things? How do we go about that?
Provide necessities, like food and water. We all need fuel to live and function, right? That may look like making a meal, suggesting food options, or reminding or nudging someone to “have a bite to eat”.
If you live together, take it a step further and consider cleanliness and neatness. Perhaps, do a load of laundry or mundane chores, like taking out the trash and washing dishes. Focus on things that generally require little input or micromanaging. Remember your purpose …to HELP! Your results should reflect that.
OBSERVATION is KEY!
My mentor often stresses to pay attention to what people do, not what they say. This little gem has taken me very far. Being mindful in this way has helped me to treat people accordingly and best respond to what the situation requires, PROactively. Getting good at it has also allowed me to build better relationships over the years.
Being able to identify things that may lend to reducing stress and making it easier to navigate the daily ins and outs of life can significantly impact an environment, in a positive way. In my opinion, a quality of this caliber helps to make a person indispensable.
Want to be supportive? Ask yourself, “What have I done for someone today that was helpful?”.