In a women’s life you need to rely on a number of supports, whether it’s your bra (comfortable, hard to find, expensive and usually not the best looking), your family or friends, we all need assistance, reassurance and accountability in our lives.
I'm about to turn 32 next week, I've been thinking a lot lately about life and all that it offers, whether we're all living up to our potential. Let’s face it, we’ve all reached an age where we come with some baggage. I don’t care if you’re divorced, married, widowed, or single. We all have friends who have had marital problems, fertility problems, and financial problems. Chances are we’ve all seen some things. It would be next to impossible to get through early adulthood without tasting a little of the spice of life - challenges. Those experiences have shaped who we are, the decisions we make, and the way we live our lives. Those experiences have determined what we like and what we look like, and have made us more conscious about the people in our lives and who we really invite into our inner circles.
I’ll admit it. I’m getting pickier, I know that I can’t tolerate slow drivers in the left lane on highways, those who don't like dogs (I'm the founder of Connecticut Canines), and people who don't understand the other's perspective.
Everyone has, and is entitled, to their opinions. Be open minded. You only live once, you need to enjoy every moment. As I get older, my family and friends are getting pickier too. With pickiness comes a little bit of stubbornness. We know what we want. Our decisions are made based on our own past experiences…things that we may share with our family or friends, but not in 100% the same way.
The decisions that I make are not yours. If they were, I’d be you. My decisions are mine and have come together because of the life I have led. I haven’t led your life. You haven’t led mine. So let’s stop trying to lead each other’s. As we get older, we don’t always have to agree with what our friends or family members do, and they sure as heck don’t have to agree with what we do. But there is one thing that keeps us all together - support. Be supportive and give encouragement. A little bit goes a long way.
I don’t think most people understand the definition of support. It doesn’t mean that you agree, it doesn’t even mean you have to encourage - it means that you trust your friends to make the best decisions possible…for them. If you start off a sentence with, “Well…if it were me…” then you should stop. Just stop, because it’s not you. I would love for everyone to repeat after me. I support you and I want you to be happy. Don’t go any further. No “buts.” No “have you thought about?” No “what ifs?”
When you stop with that one phrase, you’re leaving the door open to be asked your opinion. But there is a difference between being asked and just blurting out what you think. Because when you are asked, your family member/friend/colleague wants your opinion. When you offer it without consent…you’re implying that what the other person is doing is wrong.
The Bottom Line
No matter what the situation, dialog is key. You will be happier if you learn how to say, 'This is how I'm feeling, and this is how you can help me.'” And if the asking doesn’t lead to giving, well, that’s a topic for another post.
Be there, be aware, be supportive. Show you care. It's not complicated.
This insights column blog post was inspired and adapted from here, here and here.
What do you think about support?
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