high school just got simpler

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Help Yourself In Order To Help Others

I had a nice heart-to-heart conversation with a great friend of mine a while ago. He seemed caught up in a mix of teenage drama, other people's issues, and problems in his own life. He is usually this happy, carefree, laid back guy. To see this side of him was a big change.

I was more than happy to help him though. I don't have anything too prevalent going on in my life. So I could give him all the help he needed.

What makes people so interested in other people's problems? Reality shows, school drama, and fights intrigue people daily. 

This is all wrong. You shouldn't be putting more stresses on yourself than you need. Not only do you have your own problems, now you're throwing more and more at yourself. There ends up being piles of stress, problems, and commitments to things that do not affect you personally in any way. All of this stress makes your life complicated. You are unable to complete tasks, work on goals, or be truly happy. 

You need to take care of your own issues first. You should be priority #1. 

A few tips on helping yourself first:
  • List out everything that's going on in your life.
  • Go through this list one at a time. Doing everything in your power to take on this issue. If it's a simple commitment, see if you can drop it. Only take on one thing at a time. Go down the list one by one. These can act like goals, but don't work too hard on them all at once. Do one thing a day to help with it.
  • Take time to work these out. If you need to take a month or two to deal with something, whether it's a finance issue, bad break up, or something deep in your life, do so. Stresses need to be dealt with as soon as possible or they will sit there and fester.
  • Say no. When someone comes to you with their problems, say no. You might have been there for them before, but you need to be there for you. They will understand. Tell them you are dealing with things yourself right now, and can't take anything else on at the moment. You shouldn't be expected to take on their problem before your own.
  • Listen, don't do anything. If you truly need to help someone, just listen. Most of the time, people just need to vent. If you can't say no, then just listen. Listening is a powerful tool, and takes minimal effort from you. Just be in the moment for them, and pay attention. You don't need to fix any problem, give any advice, just be there for them to talk to. You don't need to worry about their problem, but they will know that you care.
"The most precious gift we can offer others is our presence. When mindfulness embraces those we love, they will bloom like flowers." -Thich Nhat Hanh
Listening to someone and just being with them can make all the difference. You don't have to stress about their issue, and you can deal with your own before you worry about theirs.