when we feel we don’t have enough support, of course there’s many ways we can “go out and get more”. however, often, when we have a problem like this, it’s not because we lack the know-how – it’s that there is something blocking us from reaching for what we need.
when we don’t get the support we long for, it’s often because there are some voices in our heads saying things like, “they don’t have time”, “they’re not interested”, “they already have too much on their plates”, or “if they find out i need help with this, they’ll think i’m a loser.”
when this happens, we can help ourselves by talking this over with someone who has already “proven” that they enjoy supporting others.
here are some ideas on how you might increase your support network:
- your existing friends and family
- assertiveness classes or self help books like how full is your bucket? by grandfather-grandson team tom rath and donald o. clifton
- making a point of initiating and sustaining conversations with people who you don’t ordinarily talk with
- getting involved in volunteering, support groups, community events
- if you’re religious/spiritual, praying for more support
- taking classes on anything you’re interested in
- giving to others
- becoming a regular somewhere – at a pub, a coffee house, an interesting online group
- keeping in touch with people through phone calls, letters, emails
important: as i said in a previous post, there might be moments when you’re tempted to read such a list and roll your eyes, saying “that’s not much help, that’s all pretty obvious!” if that’s the case, please stop and think for a moment. if you’re unhappy with the extent or quality of your social support and you haven’t done one of these things in the last three months, maybe it’s time to go back and try them – try the obvious!
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