There is no one right way to ask for or get support. The only thing you can do wrong when it comes to support is try to do without it. No matter how strong, smart, talented or resourceful you are, you need the support of others. Even if it has been difficult in the past, don’t be afraid to rely on support. Look for support among friends, co-workers and family.
Be careful to choose people that care about you and are emotionally healthy enough to give and receive support. You can also look for support from strangers, such as in a support group.
What is a support group?
A support group is a gathering of people around a problem, period or theme for the purpose of sharing ideas, encouragement, resources and experiences.
Support groups are great because they:
- Are good places to be heard. Use this time to be honest about what is on your mind, what you need and how you are feeling.
- Offer safe space to explore your feelings. Chances are someone in the group has felt the same way and can relate.
- Are places where people know what you are going through. It is easy to feel isolated or like you are alone when you don’t have support.
- Can help you get unstuck because you are sharing information and ideas that give you motivation to move.
- Support ongoing personal development because you get encouragement to try something different.
- Are a great chance to give and get a pat on the back.
Find support groups at local community centers, at non-profit agencies, in the local paper, online, in faith communities or through employee assistance programs. Or you can start your own support group.