Beautiful Relationship With An Emotional Support Person

Emotional Support Person - two ladies laughing at lunch
An emotional support person offers a listening ear, boosts confidence & self-esteem, and provides a sense of security, aiding in good mental health

Disclaimer – I am not a professional therapist or psychiatrist. I am an expert in mental health by way of real-life experiences. I encourage those who need it but it should not be taken as medical advice. If you are in distress, you can call or text 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline.

Introduction 

So, you know how life can get pretty tough sometimes, right? And it can be beneficial to have someone to talk to and help you get through it all. 

That’s where an emotional support person comes in. They’re the people in your life who you can turn to for comfort, encouragement, and just a listening ear when you need it. They can provide emotional support, which is crucial for mental health and well-being.

In this post, we’re going to explore the role of emotional support in mental health, who makes an excellent, trusted confidante, and what topics you might want to discuss with them.

We’ll also touch on the difference between such a person and professional help so that you can make the best choice for your needs.

Whether you’re looking for a new support system or just want to understand better the importance of this type of support in your life, this post has got you covered!

I plan to use my best friend, who happens to be my husband, as an example.

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The Role of Emotional Support in Mental Health

Hey, have you ever felt like you’re going through a tough time, and no one around you really understands what you’re going through? That can be a really lonely and overwhelming feeling.

But having someone to turn to for emotional support can make all the difference. A confidant can provide a non-judgmental ear to listen to your thoughts and feelings and offer encouragement and understanding. 

The Importance of Emotional Support

Providing emotional support through active listening and understanding can deeply help someone dealing with mental health challenges.

It’s like having a best friend who’s always there to lift you up and remind you that you’re not alone. That’s why having your support system is so important for your mental well-being.

A shoulder to lean on can reduce stress and anxiety just by being there for you. They are proof that you aren’t in it by yourself. They can reduce stress by listening to you. Getting things off your chest is a huge stress relief. It is OK not to handle everything alone.

And not only do they provide a listening ear, but they can also play a remarkable role in boosting our confidence and self-esteem. 

Your support person will be there to remind you of your strengths, accomplishments, and all the fantastic qualities that make you who you are. Having someone believe in us can profoundly impact how we view ourselves.

Additionally, having a sounding board person can give you a sense of security while you process your feelings and thoughts in a safe and non-judgmental space. 

They can help you when facing challenges and difficulties related to mental health conditions or other health challenges.

Emotional Support Person - two ladies sitting on the ground having drinks and talking

People Who Can Offer Emotional Support

So you’re on the hunt for a supportive friend, huh? That’s great! Sometimes life can be challenging, and it’s important to have someone there to provide comfort and support.

But with so many people in our lives, it can take time to figure out who might be the best fit. But don’t worry. I’ve got some suggestions that might just help you find the perfect companion. Let’s take a look.

  • Family members 
  • Friends 
  • Therapists and counselors 
  • Support groups Religious 
  • spiritual leaders 
  • Colleagues and coworkers

It is finding someone you trust and can connect with as your encourager is essential, whether it’s a family member, a friend, a therapist, or a support group. 

Showing emotional support and providing emotional support to a loved one can make a huge difference in their mental health, especially if they are dealing with a mental health condition or health challenges.

An emotionally supportive person is someone who actively listens and helps a person feel heard and understood. It’s about being present and providing a safe and non-judgmental space for the person to express their thoughts and feelings. 

By giving emotional support, you are helping someone to feel validated and cared for, which is crucial for their mental health.

The Benefits of Emotional Support in Relationships

When it comes to our relationships, having a trusted advisor can make all the difference. It doesn’t matter if it’s your partner, best friend, or even a coworker – what’s important is that you trust and connect with this person. 

This section will explore the benefits of having an emotional support person in your relationships and how they can help you grow and thrive.

I want to introduce my husband as an example because he is my emotional support. 

James and I will be married for 17 years this month. My husband is seriously the best. He just gets me, you know? He doesn’t even need me to tell him when something’s bothering me. He can just read me like a book and usually comes to me before I even have to say a word when something is wrong.

When you are in a relationship with your mental health ally, it strengthens bonds and trust because you trust that person with your inner thoughts and feelings. You know that they will keep what you confide private. 

James is always all about open communication. Whenever I need to talk about something that’s bothering me, he’s always there to listen and offer support. He’s always ready to help me with anything I need, no matter how big or small.

 It’s always best when someone takes the time to listen and understand rather than just giving a quick and generic response like “It will be OK.” 

Having an emotional support person who genuinely listens and offers thoughtful and personalized support can greatly improve mental health.

I want James to be realistic when he responds to me. He might say, “I know you are upset right now, let’s relax and see if we can get it to lessen or pass.” 

It’s important to have someone who provides a safe and accepting environment for you to open up and share your feelings. 

Being honest and vulnerable can be hard, but having a support person you feel comfortable with can make all the difference. When you don’t have to guard your words or thoughts, it allows you to truly let it all out and get the support you need.

Qualities of a Good Emotional Support Person

Have you ever thought about what makes an excellent empathy provider? When looking for someone to lean on, it’s important to consider 

  • listening skills 
  • non-judgmental attitude
  • ability to understand and empathize with you
  • trustworthiness
  • reliability

All these traits are super important, and I feel so lucky to have found my husband, James, who embodies all of these qualities and more.

James wrote an article some time ago: “Being supportive of a significant other with mental/sexual abuse.” He talks about how he supports me in that post. You may be interested to read his point of view. 

Topics of Conversation to Discuss

Awesome! You’ve got the perfect person in mind, and it’s time to have a heart-to-heart with them. But what do you talk about? Here are some key topics to cover with your supportive friend:

A. Setting clear boundaries and expectations 

B. Finding a mutually convenient time and communication style 

C. Sharing your personal triggers and coping mechanisms 

D. Collaborating on problem-solving and support strategies

These discussions will help ensure that your emotional support relationship is strong, healthy, and tailored to your specific needs.

Setting Clear Boundaries and Expectations 

When it comes to your emotional support relationship, it’s important to set some clear boundaries and expectations from the get-go. This will help ensure that you and your support person are on the same page and that the relationship is as helpful and healthy as possible.

So, what should you be thinking about when setting boundaries and expectations? Here are a few things to consider:

  • Availability: How often will you check in with each other? Will you talk on the phone, by text, or by email? What is a good time for you to talk?
  • Communication styles: Do you like to talk things out in detail or prefer more concise updates? Do you want to stick to the facts, or are you more comfortable with emotions? Knowing what you both like will help you communicate more effectively.
  • Personal triggers and coping mechanisms: What things tend to stress you out or trigger your emotions? How do you usually deal with these situations? Knowing what sets each other off will help you be more understanding and supportive.
  • Problem-solving and support strategies: When you’re feeling down, what do you need from your support person? Do you want them to listen and offer a shoulder to cry on, or do you want practical advice on handling the situation? Understanding each other’s preferences for problem-solving and support can help you be there for each other in the best way possible.

By taking the time to set boundaries and expectations, you can make sure that your emotional support relationship is as healthy, supportive, and helpful as possible. So, don’t be afraid to have that conversation! Your emotional well-being is worth it. 

Emotional Support Person - two ladies at lunch taking a selfie

An Example of Triggers and Coping Style

Your support system really needs to know what triggers you and how you can be helped. 

I am using myself as an example. I freak out if I am around anyone who is angry and yelling! It doesn’t need to be directed at me at all, just any angry emotion triggers me. 

Let me tell you, I walked out of my apartment building not that long ago, and a couple was in the parking lot having a heated argument. They were yelling and carrying on. This caused me great distress, and I was shaking. I literally had to turn around and go back upstairs in tears.

I was highly triggered. James would know that I needed to be talked to softly, and I would want to lie down in the dark right away. I just need space and quiet to calm down. 

What if James did not know I needed quiet, and he started yelling at the people in the parking lot? That would not help me and 100 percent make it worse. 

You want your person to know what upsets you and how to help you when something happens. 

Emotional Support Person vs. Professional Help

Have you ever wondered if your confidant can replace therapy or professional help?

Let me tell you if you need therapy, it’s best to get it from a licensed professional. Your friend is there to support you, not to take the place of treatment.

Think of it like this, having both emotional support and therapy is like having a double dose of self-care. Both have their own unique benefits, and it’s important to avoid trying to replace one with the other.

We need social support, also.

In addition to emotional support, social support is also crucial for mental health. Whether through social media or in-person support groups, connecting with others with similar health conditions can help them feel less alone and more understood.

It’s important to remember that everyone needs emotional support at different times and in different ways. And it’s OK to reach out and ask for help when you need it. 

Helping someone in need by showing emotional support and providing emotional support is a key step in helping to improve their mental health and overall well-being.

Conclusion 

In conclusion, emotional support and social support play crucial roles in mental health and well-being. It’s important to have someone you can trust and connect with, whether a family member, friend, therapist or support group. We can help each other get through the tough times and feel more confident, secure, and loved by giving and receiving emotional support.

I encourage you to reach out to someone you trust to be that person you turn to. Most people do not want to deal with problems on their own. It is so helpful to talk things out with people who understand you. 

It might be helpful to bookmark this article and return to it when deciding what to discuss with your emotional support person. I hope that you found these suggestions helpful. Do you have anything to add? Leave me a comment! Your advice could help other readers. 

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One response to “Beautiful Relationship With An Emotional Support Person”

  1. Tracey Weiss Avatar
    Tracey Weiss

    Wonderful article Danielle! I try to be supportive to my husband (who is also MY best friend) and I know I’m not always perfect but he tells me he’s grateful that I am there so I guess I’m doing it right most of the time. 🙂

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