I'm guilty of this, I'll say that first. I want to talk about being on the other side of the fence for the start of this post, being the one that isn't sick, hurt, healing, or what have you. You see someone you care about in a bit of a spot. You want to help, but don't want to overstep any boundaries, and you honestly don't know what they could use. What you say? "Let me know of there's anything you need." Or, "tell me if there is anything I can do". They will say thanks but few ever reply what help they require. I'm guilty of both sides, actually.
Being the injured/healing person, you may be afraid to ask too much of a friend/family member. You may not realize what you need till it is too late to ask. Because of this I want to list a couple things to help fight this cycle.
For the friends/family:
· Make suggestions of ways you are willing to help.
Good examples include:
*offer to make a casserole/dinner dish that can be easily heated in an oven or crock pot so eating well is not difficult at home.
*be a ride to appointments, to get groceries, or to even just get out of the house.
*bring edible food to the hospital.
*watch their children in their home or yours so they can rest.
*take their children to a park or play site so they can play without interrupting the parent resting.
*bring them a tea/coffee and just chat about something other than their ailment. Sometimes people just want to forget about their extraordinary circumstances and just talk about anything else, even the weather!
· Make contact
Sometimes all the person wants is to know they're thought of and loved, so text them, call them, im, tweet, email, or Facebook them. This is when you can open the forum to what you are able/willing to do for them, and maybe it will be just that they want to talk, but just show them they're worth the effort.
· Follow through.
No matter what, if you promise something, do it. No half assing either. If the roles were reversed, you would want to know you can count on people to keep their word.
For the ones healing/sick:
· Be honest.
If someone does ask the ambiguous question of if there is any way they can help, list ideas. You can tell them they are not obligated to do anything, but these are areas you could use some support. They cared enough to ask, respect your position and accept sincere assistance.
· Make some options available.
If you really need help, make it known. If you have Facebook, post a list of ways people can help if they would like to. If anyone frowns on you doing this, they are not worth your time. Society has made people think it is taboo to be need help and to ask for it. The fact is no one can make it through life alone, sometimes we need to lean on someone stronger than our present self. It is okay to admit you need help.
· Be grateful.
If someone does something to help you, thank them. You can do so verbally, electronically, with kind gestures (hugs, thank you cards, or flowers, for example), and/or offering to return the favour in the future. Some people may be going out of their way to help you, no matter how small their assistance, show your gratitude for their support.