When a loved one is going through a crisis, it can be difficult to determine the best way to help them. Providing a level of support without straining your relationship can be hard to manage. Fortunately, there are a variety of techniques you can use to support those close to you through a crisis without getting yourself over-involved. There are also many actions to try to avoid so that you do not unintentionally inflict extra stress during the crisis.
There are many techniques that can be used to support your loved one during this time. Understanding each of them can help you determine which technique is best to use in your current situation.
Listening is one of the most beneficial techniques you can incorporate when helping a loved one through a crisis. Often, people just need someone to let their emotions out on. Being a supportive individual who is there to listen and process with them can enable the person to open up. Processing their emotions aloud in front of someone supportive can encourage a person in crisis to develop personal insight on what is happening and what needs to be done, and it can relieve stress in the meantime.
2. Provide Reassurance
During this crisis period, your loved one may need to be reminded of the support they have. Reassurance that you are there to support them and are willing to help can solidify their support system and remind them that they are not going through this alone. It is easy to push people away in a crisis and reinforce thoughts that nobody will be there to help. Counteracting those negative thoughts and reassuring your loved one that they have additional support can make this crisis period much easier for them to manage.
#3. Recognize the Progress
An individual going through a crisis may not notice the negative habits and characteristics that are showing in their day-to-day life. As a loved one, you may be able to recognize these negative changes before they can. Noticing a loved one is acting unusual provides you with an opportunity to check in on them. Ask if they need anything or if there is anything you can do to better support them. Having that accountability can be helpful for people to recognize when they are not handling a crisis well and encourage them to reach out for help.
It can also be encouraging to your loved one when you notice the positive changes through a crisis. Usually, after the initial crisis period, you may find positive aspects in the way your loved one is handling a situation. Let them know that you noticed their efforts and that you appreciate them. This reinforces the importance of dealing with a crisis in healthy ways and not allowing it to take over one’s overall functioning.
Actions to Avoid
When helping a loved one through a crisis, you may instinctively want to engage in some of the following actions. Many individuals will not react well to these, and they may increase stress levels for your loved one. It is important to approach your loved ones in a way that is the most beneficial for them.
It can be a natural response to blame the individual for the crisis they are experiencing. For example, if an individual is struggling with a relapse, you may feel the need to blame them for engaging in their addiction in the first place or allowing themselves to reach a point of relapse.
Blaming your loved one during a crisis will only worsen the negative effects the crisis brings onto them. There may be aspects to learn from, but pointing it out to your loved one accusatorily can cause the crisis to worsen and weaken the relationship between you and the loved one.
2. Lack of Boundaries
Not setting boundaries can become an issue very quickly. It is great to offer help and support to your loved ones; however, both you and your loved one need a set of boundaries to maintain balance in your lives. This is an important mindset to retain in a professional setting, but it can also have a positive impact on supporting your loved ones as well. Predetermine your boundaries.
While supporting a loved one through a crisis, it is important to maintain boundaries for yourself. You can provide support to them without giving up your life. Maintaining healthy boundaries can help you not feel trapped within the crisis or lead your loved one to feel dependent upon your support. Establishing boundaries can allow you to support your loved one without overstepping and create a healthy balance in the relationship for both individuals.
Watching a loved one go through a crisis can be emotionally draining. You want to do everything you can to support them but might not know how. This article outlines some techniques that can be used to support a loved one through a crisis and reviews actions to avoid worsening the situation. One of the best things you can do to support a loved one is listen to them. Providing reassurance, recognizing their progress, and offering to support wherever needed can increase the level of support you can provide. It is important to avoid blaming the loved one and avoid not setting boundaries for each other. These actions can worsen the crisis state of your loved one and add stress to the situation. Reviewing these techniques can help you to be strong support for your loved one and maintain a positive relationship. Contact Dream Recovery to learn more at (949) 732-1960.