I have frequently heard people talk about how they are in a “one sided” relationship. Or that they feel they are there for the other person, but when they need support the other person isn't there. So how does one go about having a “support system” that can actually be a support?
Support System Definition
Let's start with something simple. What is a support system anyways? A support system is a term used to describe the people around you that are there for support in either in an emotional or physical sense. People you can count on.
Those people you can call up if your car breaks down or if you just need someone to talk too. Most often a support system is comprised of family and close friends.
Here are my top five practical aspects for beginning or maintaining a good support system.
1. Are these close people in your life really worth being there.
If you gave them the option to either be there for you or not be in your life, would they choose you?
Or do they always have something else “going on” when you need something. Is your choice in the friends you have really the underlying cause as to why your support system really isn’t a support at all?
Our choice in who we have as close friends can be the biggest reason why we lack support. I believe that the basic definition of a friend should be someone that you can count on. So how many real friends do you have?
2. Family can still be an important part of your life but not be your support system.
Some people know that their family is incapable of offering the type of encouragement that they need. And that is ok.
That does not make these people any less a part of your family. Sometimes those who you hold dear in your family are sick and cannot offer you support.
Or they honestly cannot understand the problem that you are going through. They are still and will always be your family.
Also, some people have families that are just hurtful and therefore automatically are counted out. There are still tons of other people that could be that support.
3. So how do you decide whether or not to let someone in to be a part of your support system?
Well sometimes it just happens. A new friend in your life can start making an extra effort to be there for you and try to help you when you need it and you feel comfortable enough with this person to do the same. This person is now in your support system.
4. What should you do if upon trying to reach out there is no one willing to really be there?
That is when you need to take the step to find a counselor that can help you in your time of struggle until you are either able to deal with the stress on your own or build up the appropriate support system in your life.
Counselors began with the desire to help people dealing with non physical problems develop ways to cope with those problems. Many counselors that I know desire that their clients one day no longer need them.
Counselors are a good support system to have for a period of time but not for always.
5. What if you want someone to be a part of your support system but they are not living up to your standards?
Or what if someone was a big part of your support system but have fallen off the radar? What should happen in those instances?
Well the answer is simple really. Just talk to them about it. Ask them to help you through a little more.
If they come back and say that they can't right now because they are going through their own things, then just set them aside for a time period until they feel that they can be. OR ask them how you could possibly help them.
Having a good support system is important but also being a good support is just as important.
If you try to talk with the person that you desire to be a support system and they are unwilling then move on.
There are billions of people in the world and it is not worth your time to pursue someone that really isn't worth your time.
Start today. Start evaluating your support system and how it can be improved. Do you need to add people or accept having to take some people out? But also, be willing to ask for help. There are people who are open and willing to help.
Sam was featured in many prestigious publications. Check out his interview with Aljazeera English
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