The guide to providing moral support
As humans, we are wired to provide moral support; our mental and psychological needs depend on it. Life comes with its ups and downs, and the one thing we all want to have when we go through tough times is to know there are people or a person we can depend upon – we want to know someone is behind us backing us with words of support and encouragement.
One of the most significant gifts we can receive is moral support from friends, family, colleagues, or strangers. When faced with a challenging situation, kind words of encouragement or an offer of help can give you the strength to move forward. But while it’s a known fact that moral support can be the stabilizing factor amid a hardship, knowing how to give some moral support to people in need of it is important as well.
The first step in giving moral support is understanding the situation or condition a person needing moral support is in, because, without a clear understanding of the situation they are in, your help will be misplaced, and may not have the desired effect. Also, have this at the back of your mind:
“Moral support is intangible as well as indirect support; it is support for the actions and principle of what someone is doing. It is an act of helping someone by giving love, support, and encouragement, letting them know someone cares about them.”
Once you understand the situation or challenge they are in, now you can give them support. A simple way to begin is to provide words of encouragement and let them know you help and care about them. This may seem little and intangible, but it does a lot of good. Moral support is not limited to words of encouragement – often, moral support is given to support the actions, principles, or works of a person or group. In this scenario, let them know you believe in what they are doing and that you are standing behind them. You can also take a notch further by speaking or advocating for them; speaking up for someone is a way of saying: “I believe you are doing the right thing!”.
How to give moral support to a stranger?
You may ask: “How do I give moral support to a stranger” In this scenario, you may feel you are limited when it comes to providing moral or any support, but simply showing kindness and respect will be a motivation a friend, family or colleague needs to move forward. Giving moral support when it’s not requested of you (especially if the person is a stranger or simply an acquaintance) requires respect, sincerity, courtesy, and a little sensitivity. Let the person know you are there and can be depended upon. When you get into a conversation with them, do not try to pry or interrupt, listen and try to make eye contact. You won’t have people coming to you (especially strangers) requesting for moral support, but it doesn’t mean they do not need it. You can help by trying to understand the problem. Approach them politely, and ask politely if all is well. You may be turned down or they may arm towards you, whichever happens, don’t try and force your help on them, instead let them know they have your ears and you care about them.
You must pay attention to the cues a person gives when you offer help; it’s a great way to know if they are welcoming or not; they may need your advice or words of encouragement, or they may not. Also, be mindful of what you say so you don’t come off as being rude. You need to remember, sometimes moral support is more powerful than even material support.
Try as much as you can to check in with family, friends, and colleagues, especially those who you think are going through tough times. A phone call with a familiar voice at the other end of the line goes a long way to provide moral support.
We all want to feel loved and cared for when you give moral support, it creates a feeling of acceptance and worthiness and this lasts a lifetime.