When it comes to difficult situations in life, our family is supposed to be our rock and our team. Our family is where many of us turn to in times of great stress and tribulation. However, knowing how to help or support a family member who is going through tough times can be awkward. Knowing what to say and how to help is integral to supporting your loved one.
Death of a Loved One
When a family member loses a loved one, you may be tempted to fall back on awkward silence or reciting platitudes about ‘going to a better place.’ When death touches a family member, the best thing you can do is listen and be available. Continue to invite the bereaved to family functions or call them just to chat. Let your family member know you are there for them.
Whether it’s a failed business or a lost job, financial hardship can be embarrassing for the person experiencing it. Some families pretend they don’t notice, while others will drown the person with well-meaning but mortifying assistance. If you want to help your family member out and avoid embarrassment, consider sending them money anonymously or dropping off bags of groceries while they are out of the house. You could also offer them work or offer to help find job leads.
In a world where anyone with an internet connection can watch celebrity sex tapes, sex scandals usually only occur when there are charges pressed. If your family member has been charged with a sex crime, you could offer to help them find a lawyer or offer to go with them to the lawyer’s office. For instance, a sex crimes lawyer in Houston is well versed in all the latest information and research on sex crimes. Be supportive, especially if your family member is insisting they are innocent. Keep in mind that everyone is innocent until proven guilty and that premature judgment by you could fracture the family bond permanently.
A Serious Diagnosis
If a family member is diagnosed with cancer or another serious disease, you need to take cues from them in order to know what to do. If your family member wants to cry and talk about it, be supportive and participate to your best ability. If he or she wants to keep upbeat and positive, respect their wishes. You can also offer to take them to doctor’s appointments, help with preparing meals or just hold their hand through scary medical procedures. Let them guide you and respect their autonomy.
Every family experiences difficult situations at some point. It’s how we react to these issues that can either strengthen or destroy the family bond. By keeping these tips in mind, you’re better prepared for handling crises in the future.