Click below to listen to this post about helping your loved ones on the Candidly Kendra podcast:
Every week in our Bible study we ask everyone to answer a question. It’s a great way to get to know each other and a fun way to break the ice.
One week we asked, “What is the ‘mundane superpower’ you wish you had?” People answered things like “no red lights on the road” and “shooting condiments out of your fingertips.” But one answer stood out to me. This very wise person said,
“I wish I could always know the right thing to say.”
Well, that’s it. That’s the best not-so-mundane superpower that all of us wish we could have.
When someone we love is going through a difficult time we want to help them. Sometimes we stand around awkwardly, wondering if we could say or do just the right thing to make it all better.
What are the magic words? Or is it best to stay silent?
If they seem like they don’t want me around, should I give them space or should I push in?
The Stress Balloon For Helping Others
Over the past few weeks I’ve been talking about the concept of the stress balloon. Understanding that stress or grief feels like a too-full balloon can help us understand how we – and our loved ones – respond in difficult times. Their response can be our guide when we don’t know how to help.
Some people respond to difficulty by shutting down, avoiding their feelings, escaping into mindless activities
Some people respond by wanting to discuss their feelings with others. They talk or cry and need to let their emotions out.
Some respond by internally processing, continually mulling over and worrying about the problem.
Some respond by looking for activity as a distraction. Busyness is their bandaid.
These responses aren’t right or wrong, they are just how we cope. Knowing how your loved one is coping with their difficult feelings can give you a better idea of how to love them well in their hard time.
Watch the video below for more!
*In the video I mention the Holmes-Rahe stress scale, which you can see here.
Four Ways We Respond To Emotional Pain and Grieving
The Stress Balloon: This Is Why You Feel So Overwhelmed
4 Ways Of Coping Under Pressure (The Stress Balloon)