ï»¿How to Be Helpful
We all need a helping hand sometimes, and learning to extend yours a little more will help you build a reputation as a reliable, helpful person. Learn to anticipate the needs of others by listening closely to what people say, and how to share your time in the most helpful ways possible.
1. Assess the situation.Â
Before doing something and attempting to help, stop and examine it from different perspectives, both to see different ways you might be able to help, and whether or not your help is necessary. Dig deeper. What is the source of the problem? The kind of help which should be extended to a person greatly depends on the situation and whether or ...view middle of the document...
3. Use positive language to reinforce, not to discourage.Â
Positivity is one of the most helpful things you can offer others. Encouraging people help to inspire confidence, and saying positive things helps to make people feel better about them. Try to be the person who makes the extra effort to stay positive, even when things seem tough, and others will value your presence as a helpful contributing factor to the group. Aim for encouragement. Donâ€™t be afraid to dissent, though, if the occasion calls for it. In some cases, it's possible that positivity needs to be leavened out with some hard truths. Don't be afraid to be the one to provide it.
4. Make timeÂ to be helpful.Â
Being around is one of the underrated requirements of being a helpful person. If you want to be helpful for your friends and family, you've got to be available to be helpful and give them the gift of your time. Try to make time for the important people in your life and be willing to do things you might not normally want to do, to be as helpful as possible. It may not be ideal for you to spend a Saturday helping your grandmother clean out her basement, but if you schedule some time to visit, at least you can limit it to your schedule and avoid having to skip a meeting with friends to help out, when you'd rather not.
You don't need to sit at home twiddling your thumbs, waiting for someone to call, if you want to be helpful. Live your own life, but consider scheduling time for the important people in your life you'd like to help, so you can give it when it's needed.
5. Follow up.Â
Invariably you will encounter a problem that requires some heavy lifting on your part. This could be taken literally, as when you're asking to help someone move, or figuratively, as when you're asked to help someone kick a drinking habit, or get through a break-up. Either way it does require some effort or investment on your part. If you are committed to helping, you may need to open your wallet, your home, your heart or your mind. None of which is easy but may be entirely necessary.While it may seem obvious to some, it's also critical to help yourself before you help others. If you're not taking care of your own situations, then it wears down your ability to extend help to others.
Listening to Others
1. Ask how you can help.Â
Want to know if you can be of some assistance? Ask. The best way to figure out quickly and efficiently if and what you can do to help out is to just ask, flat-out. See your dad struggling with a lawnmower? "Hey Dad, need a hand?" See your friend looking down in the dumps after being embarrassed in gym class? "Hey man, sorry about that. Want to talk about it?"Sometimes offering to help without asking can hurt someone's feelings, if they were confident about their ability to do it alone.
2. Anticipate unspoken needs.Â
Pay attention to the signs other people are giving you to find out how to help without having to be asked. Think about the ways you might want to ask...