How to Offer Support to Someone in Need: The Power of Anticipation

by General Caregiving, Practical Guidance0 comments

When a friend or loved one is going through a difficult time or facing a crisis, it can be challenging to determine how best to support them. Oftentimes, they may not know what they need or feel hesitant to burden others with their requests. In this video from our “Don’t Say/Do Say” Series, I share a personal experience and provide some guidance on offering meaningful assistance to those in need.

Understanding Unspoken Needs

My friend Bill was recovering from surgery in the hospital, and his family kept asking him, “What can we do for you?” Bill, like many others in similar situations, would politely decline any help, not wanting to inconvenience anyone. During tough times, people often struggle to articulate their needs or desires, making it essential to understand their unspoken requirements.

Actions Speak Louder than Words

Instead of simply asking, “What may I do for you?” or “Call me if you need anything,” it is more effective to imagine yourself in their shoes and think about what help you would appreciate. Words alone may not suffice; taking concrete action can make a world of difference.

Anticipating Needs

In Bill’s case, his yard was filled with leaves, and his son-in-law recognized that this would be a cause of concern for him. So, he decided to step in and help. He went to Bill’s house, raked the entire yard, and disposed of the leaves. When Bill returned home, he was relieved to find his yard leaf-free and expressed heartfelt gratitude.

Making Specific Offers

If you genuinely want to extend assistance, it’s important to make specific offers rather than generic ones. For example, you could say, “On Monday, I have free time from three to five, and I would love to come to your home and assist you with whatever you need. I could help you clean, load the dishwasher, rake leaves, prepare dinner, or run errands. Will that work for you if I come on Monday at 3 o’clock?”

The Golden Rule

It’s essential to remember the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Treat others with the same care and consideration that you would appreciate if you were in their position. Put yourself in their shoes and think about what kind of support you would find valuable.

When someone is facing a crisis or difficult times, they may struggle to express their needs or hesitate to ask for help. By anticipating their requirements and offering specific assistance, you can make a genuine impact. Remember, actions speak louder than words. By embodying the golden rule, we can create a supportive and empathetic community where everyone feels cared for.

To view more videos on how to care for others, see our Videos page.

Karen Mulder

Karen Mulder

Karen Mulder is the founder of the Wisdom of the Wounded ministry. She lives in Holland, Michigan with her husband Larry.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.