I am a counselor. Initially it is very difficult for people to pick up the phone and call me. They want things to get better for themselves and their children. But they are nervous. They are scared if they tell someone about their situation, it will make matters worse. I say to every potential client, “You have called the right place. Let’s set up a time to chat in person so you can tell me what’s going on. If I can’t help you, I will find someone who can.” I have a new position in our program. I am doing things I have never done before. I need constant help. I am reminded of how difficult it can be to ask for assistance. I am also acutely aware of other people’s responses to my requests. I believe the way people respond to my need has more to do with their belief system than their ability. It seems many people come from the perspective, “That’s not my job.” But it’s the people who say, “How can I help?” That I want to focus on. They are the ones that make everything ok. Even if they can resolve the issue, their supportive attitude seems to improve the situation.
As a therapist I am given many chances to help people when they are down and out. It is tremendously rewarding. Helping others doesn’t wear you out. It builds you up. You don’t have to be a therapist to be supportive. We are surrounded by people who could use a hand. Try looking for opportunities to support people. If you don’t know what to do, just ask yourself, “How can I help?” The answer might be to smile or listen. When it comes to kindness, every little bit matters.