We all want to support the people who are closest to us in life, but doing so is easier said than done. Even if you think of yourself as a quite supportive relative, there’s always more that we can do and we can all get better. Being supportive is something that you can work on and get better at.

There’s plenty of value to getting better at supporting your family members. Your relationship with them will be strengthened and you’ll be able to help each other better through tough times. But how can you be a more supportive relative? What does it take?

Those are the questions we’re going to answer today. So keep reading now if you want to find out more about being a more supportive family member.

Be There to Listen

First of all, you should simply be there to listen when things are not going well and the person needs a shoulder to cry on. There are lots of things that can feel insurmountable but they’re a lot easier to deal with when you have someone to talk to and someone who is willing to listen. If you can take steps to ensure you’re always there to listen and available to offer an ear when someone needs to vent or let out how they’re feeling, you should think about how that can be done. Simply is such a straightforward and simple thing yet it makes a world of difference.

Share More Family Time

A good place to start is by simply spending more time with your family. Family time is always important and spending more time together as a family can help your situation in so many ways. The more time you’re able to share with your family, the better able you’ll be to support them when times are tough. The more family time you share as a unit, the closer your bond will become. That not only means that you’ll be able to offer help but they’ll also feel better able to confide in you.

Encourage Healthy Two-Way Communication

Healthy two-way communication is something that should never be underestimated or overlooked. Encouraging healthy two-way communication will allow your family to get into the habit of sharing feelings. If this is something that your family has never been particularly good at, now is the time to change things and ensure you’re able to offer support and receive information in confidence. It’s something that you’ll have to work on and get better at over time.

Offer Support When Important Decisions Need to be Made

It’s often the case that people need the most support when they’re having to make important life decisions. Offering support and advice when these situations arise isn’t always easy. You need to be there to let people know that they’re supported and that they’re able to come out of this on the other side. That doesn’t mean making decisions for them, but it does mean offering advice and backing them up, no matter which decision they ultimately arrive at when the process is over.

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Be the Person They Can Trust

You should attempt to be the person that can be trusted as much as possible. If you can show your relatives that you’re there to offer support and help when it’s needed and that you can be trusted to help them in a sensitive kind of way, it’ll make a big difference going forward. When you can show you’re a trustworthy and reliable person, it’ll make it much easier for your family to come to you when they’re dealing with struggles of whatever kind. Try to be the person that people feel comfortable coming to with their problems.

Be There During the Worst of Times

If you’re going to support your loved ones consistently, you need to be there for them during the times when you’re needed most of all. And those are the times when something goes wrong and there’s a major issue in a person’s life. Maybe they have a medical emergency and need your help and support in some way. Or perhaps they make a mistake in life and need your help with bail bonds. There’s a million things that can go horribly wrong in life and supporting a person is about being there for them during those times.

Work on Your Problem-Solving Skills

If you have someone in your life that you’re close to who needs your help, you might have to be there to offer your support and to help them solve their issues. Working on your problem-solving skills is a tough challenge but one that you should undertake if you feel like it’ll help you to help those around you better than you’ve ever been able to in the past. If you’re known as someone who can approach a problem in a rational way, you’ll find that the people in your life are more likely to come to you for help and guidance.

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Don’t be Afraid to Show Your Love and Affection

There’s nothing at all wrong with wanting to show your love and affection to those around you. We might all feel these things for the people who are closest to us but we don’t always articulate them in a way that’s easy to deal with. Don’t be afraid to show your love and affection and to do whatever it takes to make those around you feel loved and appreciated. Doing so will create a stronger family dynamic and help them feel supported even when they’re struggling. 

Try to Give Better and Attentive Advice

When giving advice to those closest to you, you should try to be as attentive as you possibly can be to their needs and their situation. If you can’t ensure that you’re able to give good advice, at least pay attention to their problems and help talk things through with them. Being attentive and doing your best to understand is often just as if not more important than anything else when things are tough.

Give a Helping Hand

Giving a helping hand doesn’t have to mean giving advice and telling people how to approach the various challenges they’re experiencing in life. It can also help to be there to offer a helping hand in terms of day to day tasks. For example, if a relative is going through something tough, their focus might be elsewhere and they might not have the time to dedicate to looking after their kids and doing basic things around the house like cooking and cleaning. Offering your help in those areas can make a real difference to how things progress going forward as your relative deals with these challenges.

Share Your Appreciation

Finally, you should think about how you can share your appreciation with those closest to you as you take steps to help them. Simply making people feel appreciated and understood can make them feel much better about things, especially when things are tough for them and they’re experiencing challenging times in their life. So do the small things that show the people you love that you appreciate them a lot.

Being a supportive relative or a supportive friend is never easy, and that’s just a part of life. If you want to be the person that your closest family members turn to when they need that support, be sure to do the things above and work to be the best family member and confidant that you can be.