How to be overly-supportive.

Feb 26/20

Today I learned

regardless of the intention, it’s possible to smother somebody when you are trying to be supportive. Smothering can severely damage a person’s confidence.

I was guilty of the following two things:

  1. I have been too quick to the defense of others, like an angry mama bear. When feelings are hurt, I have been too hasty to drop clients or turn away opportunities on a whim. Although I thought was trying to be supportive, it made somebody feel like he was failing the company. And worst, it made him feeling like a “wounded dog in the corner”, unable to sort his own issues out, ultimately feeling useless.
  2. I’m constantly asking ‘what would you like to do?’. Again, I thought I was supportive. But I was creating an environment of retreat and defeat. To self-aware individuals, it is very deflating, causing a lot of needless soul searching.

Overcoming problems is uncomfortable (even if it is to do nothing). But it’s more effective than overcompensating.

Reminds me of how a psychologist described her method: Some people just want to be listened to while they work it out themselves, rather than have their problems solved for them.

I got to work on being part psychologist, among a hundred other things.

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