It can be heartbreaking to learn about a loved one’s chronic condition. However, your response can make all the difference. As a friend or relative, your role is to provide as much support as possible until they become comfortable in your presence. You can do this in many ways, but choosing the best approach is important.
The objective is to avoid making a person living with a chronic condition feel incapable. Six in ten adults in the country have at least one chronic illness, indicating its prevalence. Therefore it’s essential to equip yourself with the best ways to help in case your loved one is in such a situation. Here are a few ideas on how to be helpful.
- Master the art of listening
Listening is an art of compassion. However, only a few people realize the power they hold when they do this. A person with a chronic condition is already burdened with the stresses of their health and may express these emotions in whatever way they can. It might be in the form of long conversations or, in some cases, crying. They may need to vent; you can provide that outlet with a listening ear. You can start by encouraging your loved one to talk more. Usually, when people talk, their tone and mannerisms say more than the actual words. These are non-verbal cues you need to identify as a listening friend. It is also advisable to avoid interrupting needlessly to prevent a possible truncation in the other person’s thoughts. Remember to only speak when you need to. The more you listen, the higher the chances of understanding your loved one’s point of view.
2. Celebrate their wins without holding back
Many personal development articles and books discuss the various ways to celebrate a loved one’s successes. While some believe in going all out to celebrate, others assert that a quiet approach is better. Indeed, any of these two ways can be helpful.
However, the best way to know how to celebrate is to read between the lines. The first thing is to assess your loved one’s mood. Are they in a celebratory mood and likely to actively participate in any activity you have planned? Remember that not everybody likes surprises. With that said, you cannot go wrong with gift-giving as a way to celebrate. However, finding the right present that the other person will find practical would be advisable. For example, if the person receiving your gift has hearing loss, you can check online sites for gift ideas for the hearing impaired. The objective is to give your loved one something they will find useful to their daily routines.
3. Show compassion and empathy
In showing compassion, it would help to remember that certain actions can cause more harm than good. Indeed, there is a thin line between showing compassion and pitying the other person. You can start by dedicating time to think about their health experience and how it may have interrupted their routines. Secondly, taking a personal interest in their situation would be a good idea. Don’t forget that the little things matter. It will help to be mindful of your body language and little acts when spending time with your loved one. Things like feet tapping and constantly checking the time could mean you are in a hurry to leave. Remember to be fully in the moment with your loved one without appearing to be only playing a forced role.