Tuesday, November 19, 2013

4 Powerful Words That Show You Really Care

Have you been wondering if a friend is ok because he seems out of sorts?

Have you realized you haven't heard from your cousin for weeks or months?

Have you noticed the absence of your neighbor at synagogue or church or exercise class?

Has someone you haven't spoken to in a while, suddenly dropped into your thoughts?

Has someone gone very quiet on Facebook or Twitter ?

We don't know what people are dealing with behind closed doors. As I discussed in Pondering on The Porch, what you see is not necessarily what may be going on....

Please don't ignore the little voice in your head that has tipped you off about a family member, friend, acquaintance or colleague.

Check in on them.

Check up on them.

What's the worst that could happen? -They are fine and they didn't need you at all.

They'll still be glad you noticed, you cared and you were concerned enough to ask.

And if something is wrong -won't you be glad you listened to your intuition?

So send them an email, a text or a Face Book message.

Or pick up the phone and call them.

Let them know you miss them, that their absence was noticed, that you are sending them a hug, your love and  good wishes.

And your kindness will let them know, they are not alone, that you care and that is a gift you can give right now, no cost. It's priceless.

And  if you discover the reason for their absence, what will you do next?

You can ask them a very simple question.

How can I help?

This question is great because it fits with all situations from scary health diagnoses, to relationship breakdowns.From parenting challenges, to taking care of elderly parents. From financial worries to job woes.

This question works so well because, there is no judgement on your part. 
You are not offering solutions. 
You are giving them space to consider their choices.
You are keeping the communication open and you are focused on what THEY need. 

And when you ask the question...... 

Listen carefully to the answer.     
Lean in and listen to them. 

That might actually be what they needed.

You might be the one person who stopped and listened without thinking about what you would say next, or offering a story of your own. 

Listen openly without judgement and with a great deal of love. 

You have entered their space, respectfully with one goal, to support them and bring them comfort. 

Who will you check on this week? Has someone ever checked in with you? How did it feel? What did you learn? What questions do you wish you'd been asked? Let me know below.

Have a great week.


 Please email me at gilly@bringingbooksofcomfort.org or leave a comment on this post below. I'd love to have your feedback. 
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  1. Beautiful. So risky to hope to be missed.

  2. Thank you. I wonder if, you are the one who has dropped out of circulation,you are immersed so deeply in a situation, that you may not have time to hope you are being missed.....what do you think?

  3. I love this, Gilly! It is so important to reach out to those who are important to us. Thank you so much! And Congratulations on your Nomination!

    1. Yes ...especially when we haven't heard from them for a while and it seems out of character. Thanks for commenting and for your good wishes Marie. :-))

  4. What a perfect reminder--especially during the holiday season when so many people feel alone and stressed. Thank you!

  5. Hi Anita -- being aware of changes in friends and neighbors behavior and following up on that awareness is really important, particularly around holidays. The festivities can make it extra difficult for those already struggling. Thank you very much for stopping by and leaving a comment. Happy Thanksgiving.