Three Ways to Help a Friend Help Himself (Herself, Too)… April 9, 2015

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Life is about moments.

We all have our moments.

There are occasions when we realize a weakness needs strengthening and a vice, elimination.

Sometimes we even speak it aloud. We ask other people to hold us to a promise.

Part of being a friend is knowing how to help without condemning. It’s becoming familiar with ways to communicate hope without seeming silly–a process of standing with someone while simultaneously asking him or her to take a second look at their committment.

It is certainly a work better suited for angels, but apparently, they are quite busy.

So I will offer you a three-step process for helping people once they have found out they want to help themselves. But I will tell you–if you are the suggestor of repentance, you are a judge, not a friend. But if your comrade has expressed a desire to change some aspect of his or her life, then these three ideas will be greatly advantageous.

1. Praise.

When there is progress on the promise, make a big deal about it. It doesn’t have to be a huge transformation–it is the little victories that eventually add up to winning the battle.

The best thing you can do for friends is to remember what they want, and let them know it’s important to you by praising the progress on the promise.

2. Ignore.

Every once in a while, people who make promises develop severe amnesia. Matter of fact, if you insist that they’ve backslidden from their original goal, they will point out in great detail how mistaken you are and how you’ve misunderstood their intent.

When a friend purposely goes against something they’ve decided to do, rather than criticizing them, use the power of ignoring them.

You don’t have to praise, but you don’t have to condemn. You can just pretend that you didn’t see it and it didn’t happen.

I have been around friends who were trying to quit smoking, and when they lit up in front of me, I just quietly excused myself from the room. Absence is a powerful statement, when presence is expected.

3. Remind.

Sometimes a door is opened by a friend, and he or she is actually curious about your feelings. There will always be a question mark at the end of their statement.

  • What do you think I should do?
  • I was wondering what your feelings were on this?

These are opportunities to remind a friend of his or her purpose.

But to insert an opinion without hearing a question is to proclaim yourself a superior instead of an equal. It is a difficult thing to remember, but essential to the well-being of both friendship and the promotion of self-improvement.

So use praise when you see progress.

Ignore when the friend has temporarily gone crazy.

And remind when the question is posed.

With these three tools, you can help anyone follow their dream to a glorious completion.

 

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Published in: on April 9, 2015 at 1:20 pm  Leave a Comment  
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