Have you ever heard this phrase, “Nobody is there for me, and I don’t feel supported?” This may be true in some situations. For this blog, I am speaking to the people that this does not apply. The reality is some people are not comfortable allowing people to be there for them several reasons; past experiences that are projected on to others, being the caretaker of others, masking feelings, or thinking that you are thinking about others. (Disclaimer) These are not all the reasons, but it’s some of the top reasons.
Not allowing people to show up for you robs you of the opportunity to have people support you. It also allows a false narrative to continue that people are not there for you. If you don’t give people the opportunity to show up for you, they can't show up. An example of this is a person who has an upcoming surgery, and someone offers to take this person to the hospital, stay with them and send meals. The person declines the offer stating, “I got it.” The reality is, they don’t. This person may tell themselves that their friends have their own lives and don’t want to burden them. There are countless justifications to validate these thoughts and behaviors.
Here are some ways to let people support you communicating your needs, sharing your accomplishments or good news, or asking and accepting advice or help.
Below are some examples of what this may look like.
Communicating your needs:
• Calling someone and telling them you're stressed out and could use a night out.
• Calling someone and letting them know you need to vent to them and communicating that you only want them to listen.
• Calling someone and seeing if they can sit with you if you're feeling sad, angry, or frustrated.
Sharing your accomplishments:
• Sharing special moments with those close to you so they can celebrate with you (Ex. promotion, award at work, purchasing a car/home, pregnancy announcement, etc.,)
Asking for advice or help:
• Calling someone and asking them how they have dealt with a similar matter in the past.
• Calling someone and asking if they know someone that could help in that area.
• Calling someone and asking if they can pick up the kids or pick up an extra shift at work so you can have a break.
Accepting the offers:
• Thanking them for offering to bring dinner and asking them to come by this weekend after 5pm.
• Thanking them for offering to pick you up from the airport and let them know you will send them your itinerary.
• Accepting an offer from a colleague to take you to lunch.
• Allowing your friends to plan your birthday/bachelor/ette, party, etc.,
I understand this will not be an easy transition for most. That is not the expectation. The expectation is to acknowledge the behavior and slowly work on changing the behavior to some degree by implementing some of the examples provided. You will not regret the decision or the feelings of relief by allowing people (who love and care about you) to show up for you.