Chances are, with the best intentions, you’ve asked someone, “Is there anything I can do?”
People have probably asked you this question, too. But how often have you assigned them a task in return?
If you need help, you don’t always have the bandwidth to request it in the form of specific actions.
It might even surprise the person who asked if you told them, “Yes, actually, could you take my garbage out right now?”
A better way to show up for someone who is grieving, busy, in pain, or overwhelmed is to offer something specific and authentic to you. Ask yourself, “What can I give?”
In There Is No Good Card for This, Kelsey Crowe, Ph.D. and Emily McDowell write, “If you care, doing something is important. But doing something you like to do, and not something you would normally resist doing, is invaluable.”
“Do you want to talk about it? Or we can watch The Bachelor and put it out of your mind for a little while.”
“Here, I made you my famous mac and cheese.”
- Outlawed Grief
- Expressing Compassion and Empathy
- The Digital Age: The First Duty of Love is to Listen
The Relationship Minute from The Gottman Institute, dated 30 January 2020. You can sign up here to get it delivered to your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday morning.