if you get in the way back machine, I developed the idea of two types of primary support, solution based and acknowledgment based. with solution based support, calls for help get answered with immediate or long term ways to help with the situation. with acknowledgment based support, it is based on acceptance. acknowledgments help someone be more accepting of the current situation. acknowledgments also tend to be non-judgemental.
we live in a society of mostly engineers. they want to solve problems whether it’s building the longest bridge, the tallest building or offering ways to fix the latest nuclear meltdown or a problem you’ve had with a friend or loved-one.
the other oft overlooked type of support is acknowledgment based. acknowledgment for the most part, serves as a specialize of affirmation. i define acknowledgment as any action or words that helps someone, in the moment, be more accepting and comfortable of who they are and where they are. this gets used far less often. for that reason,i want to take some time to further develop the idea of acknowledgments.
one way to acknowledge someone is with actions. recall for an action to be considered an acknowledgment, it must offer someone an immediate uplifting about with who they are and where they are. previously, i have developed a list of acknowledging action. to explore this idea further, refer to a earlier post of mine, what can I do.
that leaves words. there are many different types of acknowledgments. they all help someone feel good about who they are and where they are in the here and now. the different types of verbal acknowledgment are acknowledge their presence, acknowledge their journey, both good and bad, and acknowledge their success.
acknowledge their presence– this seems simple but carries great power. these acknowledgments can be accomplished with statements like, i’m glad to see you, i’m glad you’re here, i’m glad you came, i’m glad to call you friend, i’m looking forward to seeing you. statements like these are humanizing and remind people that even their presence means something. Acknowledging their presence serves as a constant reminder that your friend is important, cared for, loved, and/or significant.
acknowledge their journey-often times, people lose their way in life’s journey. they need help returning to center. sometimes a friend can’t see the forest for the trees; they lose track of the good they do. acknowledging their journey serves as a reminder that their journey is a process. acknowledging the good in their journey helps to remove their blinders and helps them be aware of the good they have do.
a valuable purpose also gets served when acknowledging the bad parts of their journeys, their struggles. in the heat of the battle, the negatives tend to get multiplied. this acknowledgment serves not to make an overly big deal of their struggles. by modeling acceptance, this acknowledgment helps your friend feel supported and also helps them to accept and find comfort in their struggles. they learn that just because something goes wrong, the world does not have to come to an end. as you use this acknowledgment, and your friend learns from it, they learn how to handle when things go,wrong in life.
these are some potential reactions:
these are some example statements for acknowledging the journey:
that sounds insert reaction here.
i can see why that might make you be insert reaction here.
you must of felt insert reaction here.
i wouldn’t want to be in that situation. (For negative stories)
i wish I could of been there. (For positive stories)
with these, your friend will feel listened to and acknowledged. They will feel like you have taken the time to listen to them. this pumps up there value, if only a little.keep in mind, enough littles make a lot.
the above approaches have a low judgement factor. these approaches usually restate the facts you, as a friend, just heard. the low judgement factor turns out to be important not for what it does, but for what it doesn’t do. these do not add to the burden and struggles of your friend, at least they don’t make things worse. the deeper the hole your friend finds himself in, the more important this becomes because you will not be adding to your friend’s attempt to bury themselves.
acknowledgment of their success-it never hurts to point out a friend’s accomplishments. this works as a verbal reminder of the good your friend has done, a compliment. additionally, the deeper your friend has fallen, the harder it becomes for them to even notice their accomplishments. the at-a-boy may be just the pat of the back your friend needed. this verbal acknowledgment has the greatest potential of giving your friend a lift since they are being recognized for something they did. some examples of acknowledgment of success are, good job! well done! why didn’t I think of that?! that’s quite an accomplishment each one of these stokes the fire of self belief, self esteem, and self value. in my book, that’s a good thing.
sometimes when someone feels particularly down, judgements are the last thing they want or need. solutions/suggestions/fixes sometimes work as a reminder of their brokenness and can act as a judgment.
acknowledgments, actions or words that help someone, in the moment, be more accepting and comfortable with who they are and where they are, act as non-judgmental ways to help improve your friends well being. learn to acknowledge their presence, acknowledge their journey, both good and bad ,acknowledge their successes along with acknowledging actions will aid in helping your friend feel better about themselves.