Friday, 11 November 2011

Don't let them go it alone.

Some days I really hate the burden that comes with being intuitive. I pick up on others’ moods way too easily, often before the other person is willing to admit they are in a mood. I am too easily affected by moods around me. I am working on not taking on others’ moods but I really struggle with trying to ignore them.

On the flip side my intuition keeps me very aware of what is going on around me. I can pick up the general atmosphere in a group or crowd, I can read a person’s mood sometimes at a glance (and then keep my distance if I can) and I can also sense when someone close isn’t feeling the best.

I am a bubbly person by nature. I don’t do glum too well, I forgive quickly as I cannot be bothered wasting time being angry, and I hate feeling blue. But when I am feeling blue I know I can feel terribly lonely. And I have pinpointed this feeling of loneliness being mostly in my own head. I am surrounded by loved ones and dear friends who contact me frequently, I am never truly alone. A few months ago on the day of my grandmother’s funeral, one of my longest and best friends sent me a simple text with a smiley face and kisses, letting me know I was not alone. That’s all it takes; a gesture, a small reminder. In my happiest moments I know I am not alone, however in my darkest moments my mind tries to tell me otherwise. If I feel this way I suspect when my dearest are feeling down they are also feeling alone. This is where I love my intuition.

I made a pact with myself around the time I turned 40 (hello project self-development) that I would stop guessing and start asking. If I sense a loved one is feeling down, I ask. I try not to come across as nosy but I approach in a way that is not too assertive yet direct, and I ask. Showing someone you care and that you notice they need support, or a shoulder to lean on, can make a difference in their day. In our darkest moments we do naturally feel alone. Letting loved ones know they are never, ever alone can only reassure them during their darkest moments that we are present.

My brother had a life-changing motorcycle accident almost 8 years ago. The accident transformed him from an able-bodied man to a wheelchair bound man. Before you start picturing a man who is now restricted, don’t. Anyone that knew my cheeky brother before his accident would say not much has changed. He is still the same cheeky, self-motivated, active man he was 7 years ago. He may even be cheekier! However in the months following his accident I found myself feeling distraught with finding ways to comfort him. How could I make him feel better about the loss of the use of his legs? How could I make it all go away? How could I get him to walk again? I even contacted an organisation overseas that guarantees some improvement in the use of limbs following spinal injury. I emailed them and I asked how could they get my brother walking again. My brother is very similar to me, he is extremely positive. Not much gets him down. But in the months following his accident there was a huge adjustment on his part, a huge life adjustment. In that period I struggled with knowing how to comfort him and how to let him know he would be alright. The fact is, so I discovered, sometimes you simply can’t fix problems and you can’t promise the person standing beside you hurting that everything will be alright. You can however, put your arm around them and let them know you are there. Whatever they are going through, they have your support. It won’t take their pain away, however it will show them they are not alone. I know that arm around my shoulder has helped me through many dark moments.

If you suspect someone is down, ask. Hug them and let them know you are there. You don’t have to solve their problem or give them the right answers. You will never know how much you just being there will help them through their difficult moment. And for heaven’s sake, don’t ever just assume someone is ok if they are smiling but you feel otherwise. Listen to your intuition. You might just make someone’s day that little bit nicer during a difficult time by letting them know they are not alone.

{Image source: Pinterest}


  1. You have always been there for me at my darkest times and kept me company when I needed a friend. You have been my strenght, my shoulder, my comfort and most of all my dearest friend and I love you for being there when I most needed someone. xx

  2. Thanks for the confirmation I needed today.
    I crossed a line with a parent from school today because I felt she needed a shoulder.
    She did. Desperately.
    I do usually tend to hold back even though, like you, I'm fairly perceptive.
    I'm not great with confrontation and feel awkward when I don't have the 'right words'for people in pain.

  3. Pegs, You've hit the nail on the head with your perspective on that sense of feeling alone. A kind word, some company, something as simple as a hug or phonecall can make all the difference.

    I have found that people often want to shove perspective down your throat - when often the better approach is to put the kettle on and offer a hug or just lend an ear.

    I'm sure your brother felt your arm on his shoulder . xo

  4. I get this Peggy. I feel I have a certain intuition with people's feelings and moods also. I often tread carefully or hold back a little when friends or family seem a little fragile. It is something I kind of take for granted and expect everyone to have. However, too many situations have proved to me that in fact not EVERYONE has intuition. It is indeed a special gift and I have no doubt one that you obviously hold and use exceptionally well. Another thought provoking post :o) xo

  5. I think we all get caught up in trying to fix things for everyone because it hurts so much to see them down. I am entirely over empathetic and have to be really careful about who I spend time with because it can send me in to a depression spiral - finding the balance between just stepping back and deserting a friend when they need help is a tricky one.
    A hug, a text, just knowing someone is there is SO important.
    (Yep, had to try out the new comment changes)


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