Helping other people solve their problems consists of a great deal. It is more than a simple matter of offering ideas, solutions and advice. Everyone regardless of their age or level of awareness, need to know that they are valued. Many people have limited coping skills and helping them learn to manage is a challenge. This daily challenge can cause you to become frustrated, annoyed and downright impatient. Communication and boundaries are necessary if you want to establish a relationship and empower people. As a child, you may not have received the validation you needed from your parents, teachers, and other authority figures. At times when they meant well and did validate your feelings, they may have undone the good by using the word “but” (more on this later). When our feelings and thoughts seem unacknowledged as children, we learn to juggle with our world and the people in it.
You cannot make anything all better for another, but you can empower people to find their own solutions. One method for helping people help themselves is validation. When you validate people, you empower them to think for themselves. With the use of empathy, confirming responses and supportive questions you can help the person engage. When you validate another person, you open the lines of communication, making it possible for you to help. By allowing their feelings and thoughts, you help them discover their own solution. If they are unable to find a solution, they will be open to your advice as long as they feel valued. With the use of validation, you can improve your relationships and help yourself. This method is simple and can become natural to you with practice.
Throughout the next several weeks, I am doing a series on “Helping People to Help Themselves”. In this series, I will cover various topics and provide simple examples. As you read each post, you will recognize that you empower other people more than you realize. You have an innate talent for making people feel their worth as you deliver self-respect. As you follow this series, you will be able to determine when you are effectively helping. In addition, you will find new methods of helping yourself empower others. I hope that this series will provide some insight that will eliminate some of your frustrations. Additionally, you will discover more about yourself as you learn to help other people help themselves. I hope to learn as well by writing this series, and I hope you will make the journey with me.
In the first post of this series “Permitting another Person to Feel”; I will help you discover the difference in sympathy and empathy. One of the mistakes I made as a parent was trying to keep my children from feeling disappointed, frustrated or hurt. I always tried to make everything all better for them. I later discovered that by doing this that I had caused them to rely on me too much, leaving them feeling powerless. They had limited problem solving skills, coping abilities and overall low self-worth. With the use of validation, you can help the people in your life discover confidence, courage and self-respect. I look forward to your comments and questions throughout this series. In the meantime, if you know about this concept, I value your knowledge so please share what you know about validation.