It may seem simple enough that we should know when someone needs help or attention, but is it really all that obvious?
Friends and family have a tendency to want to help one another, but people often are not very good at asking for help. They may not even know they need help, sometimes resorting to hiding their emotions for fear of appearing weak or needy. Sometimes they fear judgement from other people if they express themselves.
It’s also not always easy to ask someone if they need help. It can be interpreted as extremely intrusive and presumptive, and may push the person away or to withdraw further. While a direct approach may not always be desirable or effective, there are other signs you can watch out for though.
When someone isolates themselves, this can be a sign that someone just wants some personal space. However, someone isolating themselves over prolonged periods is likely facing some deeper issue that they need to address or might have problems addressing. We are social by nature, and prolonged isolation may even cause the person more emotional and psychological distress, compounding whatever else they may be facing.
When a person who is otherwise quite stable emotionally suddenly displays frequent bouts of emotional outbursts, it might be time to take notice. People tend to be remarkably consistent and when they start behaving in an erratic manner, they might be going though some turmoil that they haven’t expressed verbally. In a way, their emotional outburst is a cry for attention.
While many people do have their vices, it’s important to take note of friends and family who engage in frequent self-destructive behaviour such as frequent binge drinking, chain smoking, or excessive spending. Self-destructive behaviour is a cry for help and attention. Hiding long-standing problems and emotions have a tendency to express itself through these destructive acts. It is a type of coping mechanism.
Many signals or cries for help aren’t always as noticable as the isolation and mood swings. They can be very minor, small behavioural changes or destructive tendencies over time. It’s easy to miss those small changes, especially when we’re familiar with people; but being attentive and caring is as important as the help you can provide for people.
Join us at College of Allied Educators to learn more about your deepest emotions, and discover how you can help yourself and your loved ones overcome their fears, disappointments, and life challenges in order to build a more meaningful, and happier life.
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