Support in Resilience
As humans, we are wired to help each other. We often help people who are immediately related to us and strangers as well. This helping behavior is reciprocal-we help, and we seek help. This ‘assistance’ from others helps in coping with major life events as well as with stress and the pressure in personal and professional lives. But often, we do not readily reach out to others when we experience difficult situations, especially when we are going through a difficult time psychologically. However, research shows that this support from others helps us to cope with major life events, and it acts as a buffer against personal and professional challenges.
The extent to which we willingly ask others for help and support during difficult times is our ability for Support Seeking. Researchers cite that even if social support is perceived, it serves as a buffer against stress and experienced strain. Surprisingly, perceived social support can be more influential than actual support.
Support seeking is an interpersonal strategy. As measured by the Resilience Questionnaire ™, it significantly contributes to the release of negative emotions. It offers an opportunity to gather different perspectives and make people feel more connected.When it comes to constructs such as resilience, we often think that it should stem from within and that the ‘self’ is the repository of this resource. However, this internal resource is fueled by external support offered as it refills our sense of ‘self’.
Those who seek help from others during challenging and crisis situations:
• Prefer to ask help and do not feel that they have to tackle the problem all alone
• Regularly share their concerns and feelings with others at work whom they are comfortable with
• Have a good ‘safety net’ from whom they can seek support for different situations
• Recognize and ask for help at appropriate times
• Offer to be a ‘safety net’ for others in their challenging times
To develop this ability to ask help and support from others to have an emotional release, one should:
1. Be open to seeking support and not consider it as a sign of weakness.
2. Evaluate one’s existing support network to understand who can be reached in different situations.
3. Reciprocate support. Put in time and effort to offer support to others.
4. Identify the individual who will help and offer genuine support.
While we are seeking support from others, it is important for us to realizethe fine line between seeking support and becoming over-reliant on others. This can negatively affect our confidence in overcoming challenges ourselves. We must also actively reciprocate the support we receive from others.
“The greatest joys in life are found not only in what we do and feel, but also in our quiet hopes and labors for others.”
-Bryant McGill, Voice of Reason