Friday, 11 December 2015

How invisible pain needs invisible make up.

Ever wondered how many people suffer from invisible pains?
People like your manager, your co-worker, your HR, your students they all do their jobs like they are supposed to and meanwhile can have pains or sorrows larger than you could imagine!  
How do they cope?  How do they deal with day to day inconvienses and worries without yelling at everyone "What do I care! I have so much more going on my life, so much more to worry about! Please, leave me alone!"
I don't know for sure how the coping works. I have met some of those strong persons (young and old) and what I see is this:
  • people with a lot of worries about their health, their child, their parents are very fun to be with at work. They laugh a lot and don't take themselves, their work and their achievements too seriously,
  • people who are in constant pain talk a lot and are very busy, all of the time,
  • people who are in the middle of a divorce smile a lot while seeing couples and talk frequently about 'not giving up too soon' and 
  • people who suffer because of the injustice they meet are fighting hard for a course that is very meaningful for them. 
I see it as an invisible Make Up those strong people use. One almost cannot tell what they do to keep their heads up. To look normal. We cannot tell from their faces how difficult their lives are. It looks like it is all so normal, nothing special. Only when you know their sorrows and pains, you are aware of their strengths and coping skills.
Is there anything WE can do to help them? If possible in an invisible way. Nothing fancy, just seemingly 'normal' things to let them know we appreciate their behaviour, their actions at work?
As I wrote in my blog about tough professional woman we don't have to do any complicated things. Just keeping it simple: give a smile, ask whether help is wanted, etc. 
In my blog about the perfect advice and support, I write about our simple way of helping by mentioning all of 'the good stuff' that is happening.
Next to this, we can:
  1. make sure they know we appreciate their efforts to do their jobs like they are suppose to do by allowing ourselves some physical contact (doesn't have to be a minutes long hug! Short physical contacts will do, but with some firmness, not too "light"),
  2. ask them what went slightly better in the last 24 hours - last week. This is when we know about their pains or sorrows and we have a little bit of time for it. (Be genuine interested! We don't have to discuss the answer, just 'be there with them' with a sigh or a smile.),
  3.  tell them we are impressed by their coping skills and we can
  4. give them something visible by mailing (a real card or on line), by writing a small note (doesn't have to be poems. A supportive "Keep going! Well done! are greatly appreciated.), by putting a flower on their desk etc. 
I am only suffering for a few days now from a strange pain in my shoulder. I noticed that I'm bad in coping with physical pain. I don't have much resources for dealing with this. Just staying busy by blogging :-)  and hopefully shed some light on how to help others with  chronic pain and long term sorrows.  
Ever wondered how many questions you can ask to really help someone? Read my e-book. Solution Focused Mentoring, 5 Steps to bring out the best in your Mentee and yourself.  Bookboon or  Amazon 

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