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Helping People to Help Themselves – Series

August 13, 2010

BirdsHelping 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.


7 Comments to “Helping People to Help Themselves – Series”

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Sandra Hendricks, Sandra Hendricks. Sandra Hendricks said: "Give & Get » Helping People to Help Themselves – Series" – http://bit.ly/dcwPqr via @thisshouldhelp2 [...]

  2. Dia says:

    Nice post Sandra! I think one of the best ways people can help themselves is to love and accept themselves as they are. If there is something that they want to change or improve about themselves, then they need to go ahead and do it, but self-love has to be there at all times. Thanks for sharing Sandra

    .-= Dia´s last blog ..5 ways to get rid of painful memories =-.

    • Sandra says:

      Thank you Dia, I am enthusiastic about writing this series of posts. It is my initial attempt at a sequence, and I have lots of logical ideas.

      “Validation is not about making someone feel good, better or changing them. It is about insight, respect, and accepting. It is something that we do to let another person know we identify with his or her feelings or needs. To show we consider them and what they are going through and to let them know we care. It is about permitting another to live on their terms, and loving them. We cannot make anyone feel anything or make anything all better for anyone. Each person must find their own direction in this world; we can help by supporting instead of denying them.”

    • Sandra says:

      Absolutely, Dia, when we focus on what we want life goes smoothly for us and simply unfolds!

  3. Sandra

    I am looking forward to reading this series. I love that you acknowledge that we can’t solve thing for people but we can empower then to find their own solutions. This is only way that someone will get lasting results and grow as a person.

    For me validation is about acceptance. It is about showing the other person that they are perfect to you the way they are.

    People do not require to be fixed because they are not broken. They require to be loved, respected and valued for the contribution they make.

    .-= Marion Anderson´s last blog ..Feeling Confident – How to Boost Confidence with a Bubble =-.

    • Sandra says:

      Hi Marion,

      Thank you for adding what validation is to you, “People do not require to be fixed because they are not broken. They require to be loved, respected and valued for the contribution they make.” Thank you for your interest in my first series too!

      There are so many little ways to validate other people and ourselves that I had to create a series of posts. There are many ways that we unintentionally disregard or lack appreciation for other people and ourselves too. This series is one that I already know is helping me gain insight. Communication is the key in any relationship, and I hope to offer an overall purpose for improving the way we relate to each other. We affect one another and life is often confusing. I hope to shed some light on some of the cause and effect of communication, gratitude, and many topics, throughout this series. Thanks for following and as always I am looking forward to your input. :)

  4. [...] other day I sent my mother the first article in this series, and after she read it, she called me. It has been quite a while since Mom has read anything I have [...]

  5. From the bloggers point of view, you chose a very complex topic… I’m glad you do it Sandra! I will definitely enjoy this journey with you :)

    • Sandra says:

      Hi Marko,

      Thank you for emphasizing this. I generally choose complex topics, and I offer food for thought. This is my intention and my blog could be a bit too thought provoking for some people. I offer little instruction because I believe people must think for themselves and determine their own solutions. I want my readers to capture what they can use and leave what they cannot.

  6. [...] writing the series Helping People to Help Themselves I discovered more concerning the word “should”. When we tell people, what we believe he or she [...]