Everyone has issues, and we all struggle at times. There are things we do which are unhealthy, yet we continue to do them, even though they keep leading to negative consequences.
When someone is struggling emotionally, they may get stuck in a number of places. This happens with addictions with alcohol, prescription pills, or smoking. But it also applies to other compulsive issues such as control, anger, or codependency. At some point in our life, we all get stuck.
Discovering Where People Are
There are common behaviors people portray when they are dealing with an issue in their life. If we understand these patterns, we will be better able to empathize with what is going on in their life.
How can we learn to be better at meeting people where they are? By discovering if they are …
Unaware – Sometimes, we may have an issue that causes problems, but we are not self-aware enough to realize it. In other words, we don’t know what we don’t know.
Unconscious – When our issue is getting worse and nagging at our conscience, but we steadfastly refuse to face it or even acknowledge it, there is a name for that behavior: denial.
Unworthy – When we know we have problems or have made mistakes, we may feel guilty. But when we feel like we are a mistake, we burn with shame.
Unconnected – Isolation is often our attempt to mitigate our shame, but it never works. In fact, when we are struggling, it’s the worst thing we can do.
Uninformed – It’s a positive step when we become aware that we have an issue, but sometimes we still may not know what to do to get better.
Unsafe – As our problem persists, the danger to us and to others gets worse. And when we keep putting off getting help, life can begin to spin out of control.
Unrepentant – The most dangerous place to be is when we know we are doing something wrong but don’t feel sorry, and we consciously choose to keep doing it.
Meeting People Where They Are
Wherever someone may be, we can help them know they are not alone. There are millions of people in a similar place. And there are steps they can take to improve their life, if they are willing.
All of us can be a positive example and an encourager for those around us. If we are a friend, parent, spouse, manager, teacher, coach, counselor, or pastor, we are in position to help someone.
In Part 2 of this series, we will learn what we can do to help those who are struggling take the next right step. But it all starts with meeting people where they are.
Question: How good are you at showing empathy and meeting people where they are?
Action: Read Part 2 of this series next week about helping people where they are.
Photo by x1klima Photo by JoePenna
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