Don’t be scared of your own needs

St Anne and the VirginI sat down with a good friend recently and we had a deep think about the difficulties of asking for help, whether it’s ok to lean on people or not, but how hard it is to engage with the world without the right structure or framework. We asked the question: What is support?  Here’s our list, please feel free to add or discuss.

  • Validation. someone saying: your experience is what it is, and worth something.
  • A sense of being understood
  • Empathy; that recognition of your experience leading to a feeling of shared understanding and acceptance of its difficulties.
  • been given the sense that it’s going to be okay, but when it feels like it isn’t, receiving empathy and comfort, feeling held.
  • Being witnessed. Being seen, you are here and your experience counts.
  • Receiving insights
  • Sharing skills, strategies. resources -a planning system, a book, a TED talk, a piece of poetry, some art or music, some listening.
  • Being listened to with trust and confidence I will get time to think through myself, my listener will not jump in with solutions unless I request it.
  • Receiving compassion. ‘to suffer with’ that sense of someone standing with you in your difficulty, not offering you sympathy from their position of greater ease
  • Trust that I can find my way
  • Willingness to openly discuss boundaries, to consider and negotiate them
  • Care to know what my areas of sensitivity and pain are, acknowledging them but letting me own them and manage them.
  • Being reminded by example to practise self-care and develop awareness of what is needed
  • Reciprocity. I want to be able to give these things, as well as receive them.

it isn’t good to feel you only receive these things, it creates a sense of inequality and feeling less than. it may be possible to offer and receive these things mutually, or maybe one will receive and give to different people. Acheiving a sense of balance about it, and knowing also that what can be given and what one needs  to receive will ebb and flow; sometimes one will be greater than the other. For me, a spell of depressions means I might need more but be less able to ask; I want to be able to start giving again as I recover.

2 thoughts on “Don’t be scared of your own needs

  1. I often think about support because of things I have struggled to change. If I have not been successful in managing the change I want, I probably need something that I didn’t have the last time I tried.

    When I have failed to change; I can often be hard on myself and say; I needed more will power, commitment or effort. What is more likely to be true is that I didn’t have the right tools, support or conditions.

    Recently I had a success with encouraging myself to move forward on writing a play. I got extra support from my husband, colleagues and friends and I changed the conditions. I booked a Theatre; which gave me a meaningful deadline.

    Somehow, spending money that I may lose if I didn’t get on with it worked. My play will be produced at the Rhoda McGaw Theatre in Woking on the 21st, 22nd and 23rd of June 2018.

    The first read through, as a start of a workshopping process, is on the 6th of September. Thank you all for your support.

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