You might find that some people in your life can offer some of what you need, and you for them. Maybe they are good listeners, for example, but for reasons of their own can’t give you a helping hand when you need it. Or maybe you have a friend that you check in with once in awhile if you need to hear some “tough love” when you’re having trouble with staying compliant, or some practical advice. Most likely, your friends and family look to you for certain kinds of support and not other kinds.
Let people be who they are, accept them with their strengths and their limitations, and ask them to do the same for you. That’s what support is all about. And remember that there is more than one person in a support network, that’s why it’s called a network.
You might find that you have people in your life who want to be supportive but don’t know how to. They may need a little advice, a gentle push, some “patient” education. Sitting down with a friend or family member and letting them know how their behavior affects you, and how they could be more supportive, might help to turn the relationship around.
Is it time to take some action to make positive changes in your support network? People in your life who can’t or won’t be supportive? Drama makers? They may need to be replaced.
You may not be able to completely control who you have and don’t have in your life. Your family members, your room-mate, your co-workers — they probably aren’t going anywhere. But you can learn ways to live with them without being brought down by their negativity or lack of support. Remind yourself that if they can’t be supportive, it is their own limitation and not because something is wrong with you. Accept what you can’t change and focus on what’s working in your life. Mix things up by surrounding yourself with as many supportive people as possible.
Here’s another way to look at the list. What kind of a support are you to the people in your life? Don’t forget, this is a two-way street. You could also say that the best way to have the support that you need is to also be supportive toward other people. It’s a matter of putting out the energy that you most want to attract.
Still hanging out with that same old crowd? It might be time to use some crowd control. Bring people into your life that can team up with you to bring out the best in each other. Support is power!