New idea of doing something different — Unsplash

When it’s too big to talk about. When it’s too difficult to share. Staying silent can be the best idea.

It’s not only you who wants to change and stay silent. It’s also your colleague, your child, your friend.

Fortunately there is a way to help yourself and others. Asking questions is all it takes. Please, make sure you’re NOT asking questions about the hardship, the troubles, the worries, the difficulties. You are NOT trying to figure out when ‘it’ all started, how difficult live exactly is, why all what is ever tried before didn’t work, where the help didn’t come from and what made ‘it’ worse.

I know, there are a lot of supporting, uplifting, humorous responses possible when hearing about your friends bad situation. But it would be great when we could avoid this talking about all that is going wrong.

It’s not easy. People are not used to it: asking for the way forward. Only when you have grown up in my family, you would. With six (!) brother and two sisters, living on a farm, there was no time for ‘feeling sorry talk’. No one would listen even if you tried. The common line was: ‘It doesn’t matter how you got it, it’s how you get rid of it.’ Period.

Ask the right questions and there will be sunshine all over! Disclaimer: you’ll have to be genuine, serious interested in the wellbeing of yourself and everyone else while you’ll ask these questions.

Ask what difference there will be when the change is suddenly, perfectly achieved. Dreaming about this, creates a smile and with that it creates all kind of positive energy. That’s a real good start, I guess. Describing in detail how life would be, makes it realistic. Even when most of the descriptions are fantasies, there will also be ‘normal’ changed things that will happen. Some of those ‘normal’ things are quiet easy to achieve, so there is the start of change!

A great question to ask afterward is ‘How are you going to celebrate a small or a big change?’ Even more smiles will appear!

You’ll probably receive some puzzled glances. It can be helpful to tell your friend about your small and big celebrations. Like shouting (inside?) ‘YEAH’ or dancing a little or hugging the cat to going to the movies. Most times we skip the small celebrations. That’s such a shame. Let’s hold on to the positive energy of a success as long as possible. Yeah! Let’s dance with the cat (sorry cat).

So, no talking about the problems, please. I didn’t do that either when helping a young man. Only months later I heard that he was struggling with addiction. As he said: ‘I was very sceptic; you asking me things with me staying silent’. but ‘I embraced the small changes and the addiction left me within three weeks. I felt free again.’ His addiction was gone after two years of haunting him. I’m grateful I’ve been told about the outcome. It’s a great story to share. It’s evidence: it works! Support is possible even when the problem is too big to talk about and too hard to share.

If only we could ask ourselves and our colleagues, children, friends, team members, managers, bosses, spouse, parents, ex husband, ex wives, in laws, ex in laws, neighbours and alllll others these questions. What a supportive world we would create ❤

PS A huge amount of humor were the other common lines in my family. Imho we also need that, a lot :-)

‘I felt free again’ — Depositphotos

Thank you for reading. Let’s create a more supportive world! Bye, smile, Ella

More stories:

Wise and helpful questions. + 9 questions, silence and autonomy + Writing your own happiness notebook. Does that really help?

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Ella de Jong

Writing about support at work-at home-in class /No talking or sharing anything: Tackle Your Challenge! it's possible / Author e-book Mentoring 35,000 downloads