Why Moral Support is Just as Meaningful as Material Support

Friend Offering Moral Support

One of the most important gifts we receive as social beings is moral support from family, friends, and colleagues.

Whether you’re experiencing a challenge in your personal life, working towards an achievement, or dealing with a work issue, kind words or an offer of help give you strength to move forward.

As humans, we depend on each other.  And while material support is helpful in the short-term, the feelings of worthiness and acceptance you receive when someone chooses to encourage you or stand with you in a situation will last a lifetime.

Giving Materially

Material support is a necessity.  Difficult times can drop in on anyone and when this happens, help is appreciated.

Depending on the situation your friend or family member is facing, you might offer support in the form of a place to stay, doing shopping and errands, providing financial assistance, arranging for a housekeeper or caregiver, or bringing in food for days or weeks at a time. 

Whatever you provide is certainly a stabilizing factor in the midst of a hardship.  Which is why the feeling of security created from knowing that someone was there to meet a need, is actually a form of moral support. 

Your generosities communicate your caring.  Isn’t the fact that we matter something we all want to know?

Supportive Situations

When you give moral support, you help encourage a person, family, or group in whatever crisis or unhealthy state of being they are in.  When confidence is brightened, a sense of hope returns and morale increases.  As the general sense of well-being restores, solution and progress become possible.

When you believe in the work of a person, group, or positive cause, you can offer support by standing with them and advocating for them.  Speaking up for someone is a way of saying you believe they are doing the right things or are on the right track. 

Even in situations when you may be limited in providing any type of support, simply showing kindness and observing the etiquette-ful rules of courtesy and respect could be just the boost a family member, friend, or colleague needs to move towards the next best thing.

How to Give Moral Support

While it really does boil down to showing courtesy and respect, an offer of assistance requires a little sensitivity.  You want to avoid being condescending or intrusive.

But at the same time, you want the person to know that you are there and can be depended upon to help see him or her through the difficulty being faced.

Here are some etiquette-ful tips that may help you meet this criteria:

  • Make eye contact and be ready to listen without prying.
  • When initiating an approach to help, simply ask if anything’s up.  The person may reply, “Why do you ask?” allowing you to lead into the conversation.  “Destiny, I noticed you’ve been sitting at your desk pressing your temples, so I thought I’d ask if you need anything.  Can I help?”
  • If someone indicates having an in-depth conversation, arrange to meet for coffee or lunch.  Or ask what their preference is.  Being present and available comes in many forms in our modern age.
  • When making an impromptu telephone call, ask if it is a good time to talk.
  • Pay attention to cues that indicate if the person wants you to offer suggestions or advice.  Depending on the level and type of relationship you have, what constitutes “moral support” may vary.
  • Check in regularly with friendly gestures.  Meet for a meal, coffee and dessert, or a movie.
  • Make every moment count by being mindful, present, and relaxed. 
  • Unless you are specifically asked, avoid offering formulas, moral claims, quick solutions, or try to bring an immediate end to the story.  People don’t really want to be told what to do.

Showing value and acknowledging another person in need feels good because you were able to help someone cope or remind them that they are worth the effort.

If you feel someone may be in trouble or have a need, don’t ignore your hunch.  Many people won’t ask for help.  Unfortunately, by holding back, you could be keeping that person from receiving needed support.  A little kindness will go a long way.

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