A friend of mine was having a really bad day at work. She called me up to vent and to get a pep talk. “You got this,” I said. “Breathe,” I said. “You are one of the most capable and intelligent people I know, and you love your job. If anyone can fix this situation, it’s you.”
I’ve always been a good pep talker. It’s second nature to me. But someone recently pointed out to me that that is not the case for everyone.
I should know that. It’s why I honed the craft in the first place.
I grew up in an emotionally barren landscape. My mother was so depressed and overwhelmed that I was often the very last thing on her mind. She was never abusive. I always had a roof (such as it was) over my head, and food in my belly. She emphasized the importance of education. But I was so starved for love and affection that I’m amazed my heart didn’t atrophy. More than anything, I just wanted to be seen.
Because of that, I spent a great deal of time inside my head in a world of my own making, where people said things to me that I desperately wanted to hear. “You’re going to be just fine.” “I’m proud of you.” “You are a loveable person.” “I have faith in you.” “You can do it!”
So now, when I see that someone is at a low point, I simply tell them what I’d most like to hear if I were to find myself in a similar situation. It’s easy.
So why doesn’t everyone do this? The world would be a much nicer place if they did. But there are a few preliminary steps that you have to take to get to that point, I suppose:
Being empathetic enough to realize when someone is going through a rough patch.
Having the confidence to know that an encouraging word from you would be helpful and appreciated.
Having the generosity of spirit to feel that this is an effort worth making.
Being capable of picking up on social cues.
Sincerely caring about others.
Having a genuine belief that people are capable of more than they give themselves credit for, and the ability to creatively articulate that at a moment’s notice.
Pulling your head out of your own butt long enough to see what’s going on around you.
Help raise someone up today! Can you do it? Yes! I have faith in you!