At some point, everyone feels as if they are not receiving adequate support. Whether it's from friends, family, or someone whose opinion really, really matters (which, in most cases, it doesn't. More on this later. ), a lack of support can be devastating. The desire to yell, “You don't understand what I'm doing/feeling/going through!” can be overwhelming.
Fortunately, there are ways to combat this tendency. These ten things you can do if you don't feel supported will not only help you achieve more and feel better, but they will also help you communicate your needs and goals more effectively.
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1. Broaden your network of support
We sometimes make the mistake of seeking assistance from people who don't know the first thing about what we're trying to accomplish. This results in a situation in which neither party is satisfied with the outcome. Going to the same friends to address the same fundamental issues can be just as harmful. In these cases, a shift in perspective may be required.
If you're a writer, you should seek out other writers to discuss your issue with who don't have a vested interest in you. It's the same if you're a carpenter, a lawyer, or a computer programmer. This can put you on the right track while also allowing you to make new friends!
2. Improve your own coping abilities
This is the OPPOSITE of how coping appears.
Consider how you handle disappointment for a moment. Do you take it in stride, or does it send you running into your bedroom with a three-day “migraine”? If it is the latter, you will most likely need to improve your coping skills. Perhaps you should get a little more physical, like punching a soft pile of pillows. (It is strongly discouraged that you take your frustrations out on the object of your frustrations physically.
This is an excellent way to end up in jail.) Meditation, deep breathing, and walking are other options. Sometimes we just need a little space to think about a situation before we can figure out how to best deal with it.
3. Consider keeping a journal
Lack of support is frequently caused by a breakdown in communication. Write down what frustrates you and why you don't feel like you're getting the help you need. Then try writing down possible solutions, such as: “I talked to Mitch about my wedding concerns.” He doesn't like my fiancee, so he was unconcerned. Maybe you should talk to Trish or Richard instead.” If nothing else, writing it down will take some of the sting out of the problem, allowing you to approach it more calmly.
4. Examine why you don't feel supported
Most people have fairly rigid conceptual models of what can and cannot be done, and anything that crosses these boundaries is regarded with suspicion. Are you attempting to do something so out of the ordinary that most people will find it difficult to comprehend? Or are you simply expecting too much from those around you? You can't expect others to take care of your business while you pursue your dreams. If you want to do this, you must first start giving back before you can expect any help in return.
5. Keep things simple
Lack of support is frequently equated with a lack of communication. The other person simply does not “get it.” If you're describing your great new invention in terms that would make Tesla blink and ask for clarification, it's likely that you're overcomplicating the matter. “This device will make bread hot and crispy at extremely high temperatures extremely quickly” is an inadequate way of expressing what you really mean. “It takes 2.5 seconds to toast bread.”
6. Pay attention to what you're told
It's entirely possible that you already have all of the information you need to make a decision, but you're not listening because it contradicts your goals. If enough people tell you the same thing, it's time to pause and think about it. They're probably speaking from personal experience that they're hoping to pass on to you.
7. Consider whether your goal is truly attainable
The most difficult thing to hear in life is, “You'll never because .” However, if you are told this, pause and reflect. Are you attempting something that is beyond the norm but that you can realistically expect to achieve, or are you attempting something completely absurd, such as becoming a neurosurgeon despite having hand palsy? Sometimes we have to change our course or settle for less. In this case, your friends and family are not opposed to you, but they are more realistic about how far you can go than you are.
8. Try to figure out why they aren't on your side
Sometimes people say one thing, but someone else hears something completely different. This is where starting a conversation comes into play. Understanding where the other person is coming from is critical to learning what you can do to gain their support. This will require some empathy and possibly even a little salesmanship, but it will be well worth it in the end and will strengthen your relationship as well.
9. Consider what you would tell them if you were in their shoes
One of the most difficult things to admit is that we all give good advice but are terrible at following it. Put yourself in the shoes of the other person and ask, “If I saw So-and-so doing this, would I support him/her or warn against it?” This may not be the most enjoyable way to understand others, but it can help you see the issue from a different perspective.
10. Modify your approach, goals, behavior, or all three
Nobody wants to hang out with a conceited jerk. If you come across as arrogant, if your goal is set too high for even gods to reasonably achieve, or if you demand support and assistance rather than asking for it, it is past time to make some changes. People appreciate being asked for assistance, but no one enjoys having their assistance assumed. Understanding how, when, and who to approach for assistance is critical to obtaining the assistance you require to achieve your objectives!
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