Muse #523 - but hard to do - space, patience, assist
What does one do when someone close to you is going through things that they are struggling with?
Actually, the answer is extremely easy. “Nothing.” Just nothing at all.
Just give them the space. Be there for them in the way they want you to be. Let them ask for what they want from you. And give them only what they ask for. Nothing more. Only just that. In fact, this might be the best advice for any relationship anywhere.
And this is hard. And extremely hard to follow. Whether it is your children. Or your spouse. Or someone close to you - family, friends, colleagues, or others in your circle.
Giving anyone space is hard. One wants to jump and help others solve their problems. And yet, in reality, one cant. They have to find their own answers. You want to jump in and help coach them. And yet you cant. Sometimes, no amount of questions might help. Space is hard to give. But it is the best gift that one can give.
The second thing is offering someone the help that they want. What they ask for. Not our answers unless that is what they want. Not our questions unless that is what they want. And sometimes one might not have what the other person really wants even when they ask for it. But, we can try. When there is indeed an ask, any ask, then we can try to provide them with what they ask. And nothing but. If we can. If we cant provide exactly what is asked, then we can try to provide them whatever much of that ask can be provided. Within reason. And within the constraints of what one can do. And nothing more. No extras.
And sometimes, these “asks” take a long time to come. But you have to wait. With patience. Just keep being there for them. What more can you do? Just that. Keep on waiting. Though the wait might hurt you. Though they might be hurting whilst you wait. But just keep on waiting and the request for help comes from them.
Those are the only two simple but hard answers to really help someone. I am at my wit’s end most times when I am in these situations. But, then again it is not about me. It is about a person who is going through something. It is their trauma. Their pain. I have to constantly remind myself that. Even though it pains me to see them like that. Because it is not my pain to solve. My pain is for me to process and ignore because it is not about me irrespective of what I feel.
Be there for them on their terms, give them space as much as they need, wait for their asks and try giving them what they ask for (within reason), and nothing more.
Space. Patience. Assist.
I hope to remind myself about this every day or each time when someone around me is in any kind of pain.