10 Ways to offer moral support
We all know that both giving and receiving moral support is crucial in maintaining healthy and fulfilling relationships, however, sometimes knowing how to offer that support to someone can be tricky. Oftentimes when we see a loved one struggling we are so concerned about saying or doing the wrong thing that we don't do anything at all. Here are ten ways that you can get unstuck and take action in offering moral support.
Be Present! It my sound simplistic, but many areas of effective communication are rooted in mindfulness. Being fully present and giving your full attention to another person is a wonderful way to provide moral support.
Offer physical closeness. A gesture of physical affection such as a pat on the back or a warm embrace is a great way to offer moral support. It gives someone a tangible way to feel "held" in their space. Plus, it encourages the release of oxytocin (the feel good hormone).
Let them know that failing is ok. Sometimes people don't need to hear that it will be ok or they will do great...they need to hear that you'll be there for them if things are not ok or if they fall on their face. You can offer moral support by letting them know that your love and support does not depend on their success or accomplishments.
Find common ground and share a similar experience. As humans, we thrive on connection. Sharing a similar experience with someone offers moral support by showing how deeply you understand what they are experiencing.
Ask how you can help. An obvious, but often overlooked way to offer moral support is simply to ask someone what they need and how you may be of help. There may be something very specific you can do to really offer support, but you won't know what this is until you ask.
Resist the urge to offer unsolicited advice. Moral support is often best given by simply listening. People are generally not coming to us for advice, but rather to be heard, understood and supported.
Share your favorite inspirational quotes or mantras. These types of affirmations are popular for a reason. If you have some that particularly resonate with you, sharing them with others may offer a sense of support and reassurance.
Use humor. Moral support in the form of humor is great for a few reasons. First, it can serve as a distraction from a stressful situation. Two, it can shift the mood and make things just feel a bit lighter. Humor can be useful, however be sure to use caution when using humor and recognize that there is a time and place for it. Always evaluate social cues and use your judgment before using humor.
Offering compliments. Highlighting someone's strengths and letting people know what it is we really admire about them is a great way to offer moral support and boost confidence. People often have a difficult time recognizing their own strengths and contributions, so sharing your thoughts can be a great morale booster.
Try to keep the focus on them. It is tempting to make all conversations about us, but if someone is in need of moral support it is important to resist making the issue about you and keep the focus on them. This really illustrates that you're listening and you are invested in their well-being.
I am confident that if you practice these ten techniques you will be an expert in offering moral support and will soon become the sage of your squad.