Far too often in life, we are focused on ourselves. Always faced with the questions of how can I look better? How can I make more money? How can I live a better life? However, through this many of us neglect to ask the question how do I help others who are suffering?
This is the very question all of us should be thinking. Although it is good to better your own life improving the lives of others gives an emotional reward that cannot compare to a job resume or a paycheck. Here are 5 tips to help those in pain.
When a loved one decides to share they are being faced with an illness or difficulty it is not so much what you say in that moment but the amount of research you do to understand the problems. In short, research gives immediate answers to what their life with illness is like without being intrusive. Reading pieces such as this is a great start.
It is the social norm to reject help when offered. I have found that even those who are struggling the most still refuse the assistance they need. People living with illness often find even the most basic tasks, such as laundry, to be physically challenging. Support and encouragement in various areas of life can be the best help you can give.
3. Never Question Severity
It may seem helpful to make remarks such as “At least it’s not cancer” or “It could be worse, ” but this is in fact quite the opposite of helpful. Making comments such as these make sufferers feel as if their pain is not being taken seriously.
Stay away from questions and comments that minimalize suffering.
It’s no secret that illness isolates the patient but what outsiders fail to understand is “getting out and doing things” may, in fact, make the situation much worse and the illness more severe. Going out could cause more physical damage than you think, especially for autoimmune diseases. Social interaction is essential but getting out of the house is not always the answer.
5. Recognize Victories
Depending on illness and treatment the victories of those who are in pain can vary greatly. There is of course overlap between the accomplishments of those who are healthy and those who are ill. In severe pain circumstances walking, getting out of bed, even standing is a huge challenge and victory. Recognize the small achievements and remind them of their strength.