Have you ever been in a position where you so desire the help of another person and all they tell you is … encourage yourself? It could even be that you are the one who told these words to someone thinking that you are encouraging them.
The words “encourage yourself” could be said harmlessly but could be very harmful. IN your head you think they bring a calming effect but unfortunately, they do not. They only make one feel as if they are alone because come to think of it I am to encourage MY self.
When I come to you seeking help, I am wanting help. Encourage yourself sounds like …
“aaargh!!! What is this?”
Then in a sympathetic tone, you say …
Encourage yourself is meant to ease the tension.
It could be whatever it is the person has expressed has left you in a position where you do not know what to say and you feel the pressure to say something, therefore to ease the tension you say “encourage yourself”.
It could be you do not want to hear any more of what the person is saying so what do you say
Both ways you desire to ease the tension but unfortunately, two words would not encourage anyone or help anyone to encourage themselves.
Offering a listening ear would do better. A listening ear would show that you are attentive to the person and giving solutions is not the only thing that you are after.
Be present. Walk this journey with them. Keep checking on them. Find out what they are doing to solve the problem WITHOUT offering solutions. This shows them they can solve their issues.
If your personality feels happy when you offer solutions, then what you can do is give options. Don’t tell them one particular thing they should do. Give them a myriad of options, so that they can productively engage with what you say and come to an individual conclusion.
Offering options actually, gives room for an open-ended discussion through which they can ask;
“How will that benefit me?” Or “what challenges will I face as I manoeuvre the crisis if I choose to go this route?”
People love to be engaged and encourage yourself which is one of the many solutions we give has never done that. Instead of give yourself pat on the back, give them a pat instead.