Does Your Support Help or Hurt?

Be Contagious with Support

How do you define support? Support can take a lot out of us at times, especially if that support isn’t received well. Let’s discuss the different types of support and ways you can be contagious in those spaces.

Support can take on many different forms. I’d like to share how physical, emotional, financial, and spiritual support can look and how to create boundaries for yourself and others.

Physical Support

We may not think a hug or a Starbucks coffee would be considered supportive but an embrace is actually one of the highest forms of physical support! The action of a hug creates comfort and…you guessed it, a sense of support. What are some ways you can be contagious with physical support?

Emotional Support

Each person is unique in how they give and receive emotional support. Oftentimes, when we encounter someone in need of support, we might talk about our own experiences in an effort to show empathy and understanding. Doing this can actually cause them to feel like we aren’t truly listening. Researchers1 found that “individuals who received messages validating their feelings and opening up space for them to express themselves experienced emotional improvement.” What are statements you can use to show emotional support to others?

Financial Support

I know…this one is tricky. I would like to focus on boundaries when it comes to finances. Wisdom. Wisdom. Wisdom. Each case is different and it is incredibly important to evaluate the person in need of help and their circumstances before offering financial help. Did you know that offering financial support to others can sometimes hinder them? Digging someone out of a hole that they continuously put themselves into moves us out of the supportive role and into an enabling role. What are some ways you can offer financial support in responsible ways?

Spiritual Support

I saved this one for last. Spiritual support is the deepest, most intimate form of support because it reaches to the core of who we are. With that being said, we must be extremely careful how we operate in this space. I have seen countless cases of spiritual abuse where the offender’s intention was to be supportive however the victim was left feeling shamed and manipulated. What are ways you can offer healthy spiritual support?

Support is an excellent way to be contagious with change. Reaching out to others not only helps them but also drives us to give more. Luke 6:38 says,

Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

How are you giving of yourself today?

1Research by Susanne M. Jones and John G. Wirtz, published in the journal, Human Communication Research