a woman with a supportive hand on her shoulder

Ways to Support Each Other

Of all the people we meet in this world, the ones that understand us best are those who have had the same types of situations or challenges we have had. When it comes to congestive heart failure, this couldn’t be truer. While we each have different stories and unique challenges with the disease itself, overall, we all can connect on a deeper level than someone who doesn’t have heart failure. However, some people, while with best intentions, have trouble properly supporting others in the community. This is not an attack on any one person’s way of supporting another. It is another perspective on how certain types of support can be received.

Be there and listen

One of the best ways to support another person is to be there and listen. People don’t always vent, cry, or unload personal challenges to get specific advice on what they could do better. Something as simple as empathizing with the situation and letting them know you are here for them can mean the world. It seems innocent enough to try to offer solutions, but it can trigger a negative reaction. Not everyone wants solutions. Sometimes they just want to be heard.

Going in the opposite direction, one of the worst ways you can support someone is pushing what worked for you on them. It is fantastic something has worked for you. However, when we are all different and our bodies react differently to different treatments, diets, medications, etc.

This does not mean you shouldn’t suggest what worked for you and how you did it, but it should end there unless this person specifically follows up with you. Instead, make your suggestion and follow up to see if they found anything that worked for them. Maybe they found something that works and can benefit both of you or you can suggest to others.

Become a friend

Another great way to support someone is something that doesn’t even feel like support at all. Become each other’s friend. For most people, just having a friend to talk to and bond with can alleviate so much stress and negative feelings one may be having. I am not saying to be friends with everyone. That is not a realistic expectation. However, I am sure you can mutually find someone you connect with and can become friends with. I am willing to bet if you find a friend within the community, it will help both of you on both good and bad days.

Supporting yourself

These are just a few of the ways you can help support another person in our community. Like medication and treatments, we all respond differently to different types of support. Keeping this in mind, there is no need for either end to become upset or cause conflict if you don’t like how the other person is trying to support you. This won’t help you either.

Thankfully, online, we can ignore and block people who we don’t want to hear from anymore. I know there is the temptation to either prove your point or debate someone unnecessarily, but for your stress level and blood pressure, sometimes the best support is how you support yourself, which is walking away from conflict.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Heart-Failure.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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