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Previously, we looked at 12 awesome personal development goals for 2021. And since we are still about the business of contemplating actionable resolutions that will make us better people, I thought it a necessity that we also look at 14 ways of caring for others. Self-esteem, happiness, gratitude, and wholeness are a bit hard to achieve when there’s no one real in your life.
I know in most of my posts I say you do not need any person to make you feel worthy or for you to be happy. Which is true. You must find your self-worth before you find someone. And you must learn how to be happy as an individual, as opposed to you placing your happiness in someone’s hands. That is dangerous and toxic to some extent.
However, I have never said you don’t need people in your life. You don’t need a person to feel worthy because you are worthy with or without them. But that doesn’t make them useless to you. It doesn’t mean you can do without them either.
Human beings are social beings by nature, created to thrive on human relationships. And for you to thrive, you need to nurture these relationships. We must also understand that we are of diverse temperaments. While some are extroverted crowd pullers, others are introverts and find safety in smaller circles. no temperament is more superior or ideal in comparison to the other.
I’ve always been an introvert. And before I embraced who I am, I would look upon my extroverted sister with envy because she had a large circle of friends and some followers I must say. While I often walked solo. That placed me in a situation where I could push away even the few genuine people that wanted into my inner circle. All because I wanted the big crowd. I had failed to notice, appreciate and nurture the valuable souls around me. But that is in the past.
What I’m trying to say is notice the few people or person that sticks around or stays in your life regardless of how low you go. And be grateful for them. They are enough. You don’t need a crowd to thrive as a social being, all you need is one or two authentic people. These people may be a spouse, children, a family member, friends, roommate, workmate, etc.
The challenge with working on yourself to be a better person is sometimes, it may make you insensitive to the emotional needs of others. Especially if you are still in the habit of throwing self-pity parties. You will be trapped in feeling sorry for yourself because you lack self-esteem, or maybe you don’t value your looks; and the most prominent thoughts on your mind will be, “I have to love myself more” This will give you an illusion of your issues being bigger than anyone else’s issues.
The truth is we all have issues whether male or female. And usually, these are emotional or mental issues. While you are building yourself, you must also build others around you. This will make your personal development faster, your relationships better and you will be happier and more satisfied. It’s easier to find happiness when those around you are happy.
14 ways of caring for others
So we have been looking at self-love, self-esteem and other factors to deal with self a lot lately. I concentrated so much on these intrinsic issues because that is where it all begins. Everything else depends on your thoughts and feelings about who you are. However, if we base all personal development goals on self, we will become self-absorbed and selfish lonely beings. We need people, genuine relationships, and real friendships not social media nonsense.
I mentioned earlier that I’m an introvert. And before I got a hang of things, I had really pushed a lot of people out of my life. After practising the self-love and self-esteem tips that I often share on this blog, I found it easier to relate and live with people. I am surrounded by awesome people that I know care for me and even love me! A few of them had been there all along, they never left even when I was struggling with self-acceptance. Only then, I was too blind to notice them.
So my question is how I’m I caring for these people. How I’m I giving back the love. How I’m I nurturing the relationships because it takes two to tangle. I need to do my part.
How are you caring for the people in your life? Be it one person or a crowd of followers. No worries, if you are a bit stuck, I will share with you below 14 ways of caring for others. Of which I am adopting too for 2021.
Too much talk! Let’s get right into business!
Communication is the key to every strong relationship. If you think about someone, don’t just go on their social profile and view their picture. Drop a note, call, tag them in a post, share an article or anything. Social medial must not just be used to stay updated on the latest gossip or drama. Use it to meaningfully connect with others.
When a close one opens up to you, listen with an aim to hear even the unsaid words. These are usually revealed through a show of emotions, body language and other non-verbal cues. Listen with the aim of helping out, of making things better, appeasing or helping the situation. Listen with the aim of offering comfort. If it is a complaint directed to you, work on it. When those around you are smiling, you will find yourself smiling too.
Be at your best in the morning
The morning is the most important part of the day because it determines how the rest of your day will be. It can either spoil or make your day. Being at your best in the morning puts you in a position where no one will blame you for his/her bad day.
How can you be at your best?
Watch your mood, your words and actions. Don’t scream or cuss at anyone in the morning. Smile even when someone has made a mistake. There’s always room to discuss mistakes later in the day but not early in the morning. Give your partner a hug or kiss, even if you went to bed upset with them last night. You have the whole year, in fact, all your lives to dig out buried bones. Just don’t mess with the morning.
Hug and kiss the little ones around you even if they are not your kids. Tell them to enjoy their day as they leave home or as you leave.
I know sometimes it’s so hard to be nice in the morning especially if you had a terrible night. You’re likely to grumpy, moody and sour. I hear you. I have had so many of such experiences in the past till I realised the moods are tamable. And there is no way I could be allowing my moods to ruin everything and everyone around me. I have a choice, and so do you. It’s all in your mind, your will power and denial to satisfy the ID.
Practice the big five
These are five principles of successful relationships which are;
Love is patient, long-suffering, kind, non-envious, not arrogant or conceited, not rude, and not easily provoked. It thrives in justice and fairness, has no favouritism, thrives in truth, does not rejoice in evil, has faith and hope and endures all things. Wow! Sometimes I feel if I had to achieve those things I might as well pass as an angel. Which sounds good to me, I might as well work towards this kind of love.
Not all things are lovable about a person. Especially things that you have proven can’t entirely be changed and persistence in pushing change would only break your close one. Accept such things and move on for the love of humanity. You can’t fix everyone and everything.
There are certain habits or mannerisms that are quite annoying. But if you can see some good in that person and you have hope for change, work on patience and tolerance. People rarely forget those that take them as they are and tolerate them even when others forsake them. Stick around especially when you see that everyone is forsaking that person. He/she will never forget I can attest to that.
Some issues just require you to forgive. If you can’t love, accept or tolerate them; let it go. Repeatedly practise forgiveness because, at some point, it is you that will need it. This is because no human is flawless or infallible.
Compromise is where you both meet somewhere even if you don’t agree on a certain point. This will help you not to push for your way all the time. Sometimes, even when you know your way is better, just give in for the other person to experience decision making and independence. When they fail, don’t gloat and say I told you so. In fact, let them try again next time, that’s the mind of a great teacher.
Give genuine greetings
Most often the question “how are you?” is usually answered by a customary, “I’m fine thanks and you?”. This is the case even when someone is not anywhere near fine. They may be deep in turmoil and pain. The reason for this is often even if you say, “I’m not well at all, I’m behind by two months in rental” no help may come your way.
We must learn to be genuinely concerned about how someone is doing and our greeting must not be a mere routine. We must learn to look beyond the show of teeth and make time for the people around us.
Pray for them
Prayer has the power to change situations that you think or see to be impossible. Frequently pray for the people around them. You can do this alone or with them over the phone or when you visit them. It’s a good way of showing that you care.
Life has become more digital than physical and with the advent of the Corona Virus, one may stay months without seeing the people that they love. As soon as you have the chance, pay physical visits to friends, family and acquaintances. No level of technology will ever replace the value of a physical old fashioned visit and hug.
Build their self-esteem
Healthy self-esteem is part of good mental health. You can build another person’s self-esteem by giving encouragements, applauding achievements, and complimenting them. You can also do this by exercising patience, showing interest in their happiness, overlooking petty mistakes and amplifying their good side. Avoid raising your voice at them, shaming them in public, making fun of their insufficiencies, etc. To learn how to do this for your partner, you can read How to make your woman happy or How to make your man happy.
Care for their mental health
While you are practising self-love and self-care, you must also practice how to be a steward of your loved one’s mental health by your lifestyle. You must often ask yourself, are you a toxic person to live with? Do you make living with you easy?
Certain habits make us toxic people and tend to affect the mental health of those around us negatively. Habits like sulking, the silent treatment, angry outbursts, using strong words, insults or vulgar language, violence, substance abuse, etc. You may think it’s up to those people to care for their own mental health. Wrong. Eventually, when the monster that you are building using your toxic lifestyle matures, they will be bigger than you. And your life will be hell.
Offer any kind of help
Of course, everybody appreciates monetary kind of help because it lifts off so much pressure. But don’t limit yourself to money. Suppose you really want to offer help and your finances cannot allow you? You can do other things like offer to assist in house chores, babysitting, yard cleaning over the weekend. Or offer to host a friend’s or sibling’s child over the holidays. You can offer to accompany them to a medical check-up or be readily available when you are called upon. There are various non-monetary ways of helping people you love. But if you have the money, share with them.
Take them out
Make pleasant memories by taking your close ones out on unexpected dates. It doesn’t have to be overly extravagant. Of course, it has to be something that they like or fancy. You don’t have to wait for a birthday or Christmas to have fun with them. Usually, unexpected events are the most enjoyable.
Take interest in their personal projects
I’m not saying you become nosy and all up in other peoples business. But when a close one tells you about what they are doing with their lives, don’t be like, “Oh okay, cool!” and the story ends there. Probe more and show genuine interest simply because you care about what is happening in that person’s life.
Reassure them often
Everybody regardless of gender and age needs to feel loved, wanted, appreciated and important. It’s our nature as humans to have those needs met. You may feel that your actions show how you feel. Or the sacrifices you make are indicators of how you treasure someone. But we interpret things differently. And what you may count as a great sacrifice and achievement may be regarded differently by the recipient. While you are trying your best to show love and appreciation, saying it also works well. Tell your partner, kids, family and friends how much you love and appreciate them. Let them know how much you value them, how much you care and how much they matter.
Send digital cards
Social media is full of awesome downloadable digital cards and messages. If visiting, calling or drafting a personal message is so hard, a digital card does the job. If you love designing your own cards, you can design free awesome cards with canva.
Hope you have found these 14 ways of caring for others actionable and logical. Let me how it goes if you try them out. Happy new year!