Getting the Support You Need From Friends

If you’ve experienced the death of a family member, an illness or other health challenge, then you know it’s not always easy to ask for help.  You know that you can feel very alone and really need assistance and support.  Most people in your life really do want to help in some way; they just may not know how. There are ways to help you become your own advocate, or to guide someone close to you to do the same. There are many web sites available to help with just that

            Websites such as help you create a free personal website to quickly share updates about your own or someone else’s health journey.  It’s important to share your story so people know if you are in need of help. 

Say “yes” when help is offered. People need people and you need to be willing to say yes when someone asks if they can do something for you. Websites will help you activate your community and coordinate help so you won’t get five casseroles dropped off one day, then find that everyone’s stopped calling two weeks later. Your friends and family will get e-mailed bulletins about what’s needed so you stay in their thoughts, access to a calendar that shows who’s doing what and when and receive e-mailed reminders of the commitments you made

Ask for them to listen, not offer advice

            You can help friends help you by being honest. If you really don’t need more food, say so. If you’re afraid of hurting someone’s feelings and don’t know how to phrase it, you can start with: “You’re so kind to keep bringing me so much food, but what I’d really like is someone to take my trash cans in and out while I’m recovering. Do you think that’s something you could do for me? I’d be very appreciative!”

            If you’re really blocked and don’t know what you need, but you know you need someone to help, confide in a trusted friend for input.

Debbie joins FOX Rochester to discuss tips for getting the support you need from friends