I was in hospital recovering from surgery about 11 years ago and I was having a particularly bad day (pain-wise). My husband was with me but he had to leave to go home and be with the children. I really didn’t want him to go because I thought I wouldn’t be able to cope with the pain on my own. He looked me in the eyes and said “be brave mighty angel” and then left.
Those few encouraging words lifted me from despair to hope, from agony to being able to cope. Suddenly I was not a helpless being lying in the hospital bed, I was a mighty angel. A mighty angel would be able to be brave and get through this ordeal.
Often we don’t realise how what we say has such an impact on others. Negatively or positively.
Here are some guidelines for encouraging words:
It’s not encouraging when someone says words that neither of you believe.
Say what you want to say with a loving heart
Sometimes we need to say things that may be difficult for the other person to receive. If you say it with a loving heart it will come across in a gentle way.
Don’t add criticism to the mix
You are beautiful but……
Do what you can within your power (while still keeping boundaries) to be supportive. Perhaps the person just needs an ear to listen to now and then or a hug or maybe a gift showing you care delivered to their door.
Don’t find everything wrong with the situation
Dwelling on the negative will not be helpful or encouraging. If you think the person has a terrible idea, try and find the positives in it and guide them in a direction that would work.
Have the other person’s interests in mind, not your own
We often think we know what’s best for the other person but maybe they are not in the same space as we are. What another person needs right now is not necessarily what we think is good for them. It’s their journey, let them travel it.
Sometimes silence is best
Silence and a listening ear could be the perfect way of encouraging or supporting someone who is going through a very challenging time. Especially if they have lost someone.
Knowing that you have someone in your corner helps people find their inner strength and courage and it can be a huge relief.
If you are always the person who encourages others, don’t forget to ask someone you trust for some encouragement when you need it.
EN – COURAGE