This Valentine’s Day, Give Your Loved Ones The Gift Of Emotional Support
Tasty chocolates, a romantic dinner, snuggly stuffed animals – all of these probably come to mind when you think of Valentine’s Day gifts. Whether it’s for a romantic partner, a family member, or a friend, Valentine’s Day is the day to let them know how much you love and appreciate them. But there are even deeper and more important ways to show someone that you care, and one of the best ways is to provide genuine emotional support.
This Valentine’s Day, we want to talk about how to be there for the people that you love. Chocolates and wine are wonderful for a special day, but the gift of being present and supportive is one that will last a lifetime – and will make your relationships that much sweeter and stronger.
What Is Emotional Support?
Imagine being dropped into the middle of the rainforest with all the tools and knowledge you need to physically survive and even thrive. Would you want to be there? How long do you think it would take before you started to miss being around other people? Do you think you’d be able to find fulfillment in your lonely jungle existence?
Humans are social creatures, and a huge amount of our happiness in life depends on the richness of our relationships. Think about it: when you’re having a bad day, who do you turn to? Usually the answer is a romantic partner, parent, sibling, close friend, or a combination of those options. When we reach a goal or enjoy some other triumph in life, most of us immediately want to celebrate with someone that we care about – and who cares about us in return. Emotional support is providing those moments for the people we love.
So how do we be emotionally supportive? Read on for some ideas!
How To Be Emotionally Supportive
Want to be more supportive but don’t know where to begin? Here are some good guidelines for getting started.
- Get To Know Them – There are as many ways to be emotionally supportive as there are people on earth, and the best way to provide effective support is to get to know your loved one. Take the time to learn about them, remember the things they like and dislike, and understand what their goals are. You’ll be much better able to recognize what your loved one needs emotionally if you know them well (crazy, huh?)
- Let Them Be Vulnerable, And Be Vulnerable In Return – Trust and vulnerability are vital to happy relationships. It takes a lot of courage to talk about your deepest hopes and dreams, your fears, and the things you may have done in the past that you’re not proud of. It’s important to let your loved one do this, and it’s also important that you do so in return. Reciprocated trust is one of the most important building blocks of a healthy, fulfilling relationship.
- Reflect On The Relationship – If something goes particularly well or particularly poorly, take a moment to step back and reflect on what happened and why. Don’t be afraid to write your thoughts down in a private place so that you can refer to them later.
- Regulate Your Emotions – It’s often easier to provide emotional support to another person when you can control yours. This is especially true during hard times, where emotionally supporting your loved one can often bring a lot of feelings to the forefront for you as well. This doesn’t mean that you have to ignore your emotions. But there may be a better time and place to unpack them that isn’t when your loved one is in the middle of a crisis.
- Just Listen – We live in a loud, fast world. Sometimes, all it takes to provide emotional support is just a listening ear and some words of affirmation. Don’t underestimate the power of letting your loved ones vent.
Please note: providing emotional support is wonderful for both you and the person that you love, but it’s important to make sure that you are in a good place mentally and emotionally in order to truly give that support. It’s also important that the support is mutual, and that you aren’t being used in the relationship.
What are some of the ways that you give and receive emotional support? Leave your answer in the comments below! If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to us at 307-631-5574.