You, the Helper
When someone you care about is hurting, you might feel the instinct to help them. Some might even feel compelled to “fix” the challenges being faced. At the same time, stressful situations can catch us all by surprise and create new questions to be answered.
You might wonder what happened, what happens next, or what you can do to help. You may also wonder what other people are doing to help, what consequences might come to those involved, or the risk for the person you care about.
Some people may wonder why they were chosen as natural support over others.
You are not alone if you have ever wondered about any of that. It is normal and healthy to ask questions and to seek the truth. However, we must seek appropriate answers in appropriate ways at appropriate times.
When a person is hurting and needs support, we as supportive and caring people are there to be an extension of that person – not to impose our will or curiosity upon them.
Imagine that you have a friend or family member who is, for all intents and purposes, a “normal” person who experiences a crime or tragedy that becomes almost all-consuming. That person’s strength and ability still exist. Still, their energy needs to be focused on their own healing and well-being before they can appear strong, confident and able again.
As natural support, it is not your job to heal the person. Instead, your role is to make it possible for them to heal by listening, showing that you care, and taking on tasks that are helpful to their healing.
Being a natural support, whether you are the only one or one of many in a situation, means being in a position of trust. Someone you know who has experienced something significant in their life needs your help to keep going, and they are trusting you to be there for them.
Some people will choose with intent who they want to help them, while others will react based on instinct. There is no right or wrong way for a person experiencing pain or grief to reach out for help. What matters the most is that the people they care about and who care about them are ready to help.
If you have been chosen to help, it means that someone you know trusts that you can hear them, that you care about them, and that you will not do anything to hurt them.
No matter what has caused the person to be hurting, your role does not change. You remain an essential part of these chapters in their life story, and you must honour and respect the trust placed in you.
On the next page, we will look more into how you can show that you are listening and that you care.