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10 Things You Can Do If You Feel Lack Of Support

10 Things You Can Do If You Feel Lack Of Support

At some point, everyone feels like they aren’t getting enough support. Whether it’s support from their friends, from their family, or from someone whose opinion really, really counts (Generally they don’t. More on this momentarily.), lack of support can be a devastating feeling. The urge to scream, “You don’t understand what I’m doing/feeling/going through!” can be absolutely overwhelming. Luckily for us, there are ways to counter this tendency. These 10 things you can do if you feel lack of support will not only help you achieve more and feel better, but can also help you communicate your needs and goals better.

1) Expand your support network.

Networking Tips For People Who Hate Networking

    Sometimes we make the mistake of trying to seek help from people who don’t know the first thing about what we’re trying to do. This leads to a situation where neither side feels good about the outcome. Going to the same friends to address the same basic problems can be just as bad. In these situations, a change of perspective might be needed. If you’re a writer, you should seek out other writers who don’t have a vested interest in you to discuss your problem with. The same goes if you’re a carpenter, a lawyer, or a computer programmer. This can put you on the right track and help you gain some new friends at the same time!

    2) Sharpen your own coping skills.

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    This is NOT what coping looks like.

      This is the OPPOSITE of what coping looks like.

      Think for a second about how you deal with disappointment. Do you take it on the chin, or does it send you running into your bedroom with a “migraine” that lasts three days? If it’s the latter, you probably need to develop some better coping skills. Maybe you need to be a little more physical, by punching a soft pile of pillows, for example. (It is definitely not recommended that you take your frustrations out physically on the object of your frustrations. This is a great way to land in jail.) You can also try meditation, deep breathing, or walking. Sometimes we just need a little distance to reflect on a situation before we can find the best way around it.

      3) Try keeping a journal.

      Lack of support often comes from lack of effective communication. Write down what’s frustrating you and why you feel like you aren’t getting the support you need. Then try writing down possible solutions, such as: “Talked to Mitch about my worries about the wedding. He doesn’t like my fiancee, so he was pretty unsympathetic. Maybe talk to Trish or Richard instead.” If nothing else, the act of writing it down will eliminate some of the immediacy of the problem, letting you look at it more calmly.

      4) Analyze the reason you don’t feel supported.

      Most people have pretty rigid conceptual models of what can and cannot be done, and they tend to look at anything that crosses these boundaries askance. Are you trying to do something so far out of the ordinary that most people cannot comprehend it? Or are you simply asking for too much from the people around you? You can’t expect everyone else to take care of your business while you chase a dream. If you’re trying to do this, then you need to start giving back before you can expect any support in return.

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      5) Keep it simple.

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        Lack of support often equals lack of communication. The other person just doesn’t “get it.” If you’re describing your great new invention in terms that would make Tesla blink and ask for clarification, the reason they don’t get it is likely that you’re overcomplicating the matter. “This device will make bread hot and crispy at extremely high temperatures extremely rapidly” is a poor way to say what you really mean. “This will toast bread in 2.5 seconds.”

        6) Listen to what you’re told.

        It’s entirely possible that you already have the information you need to make a decision, but you aren’t listening because it’s contrary to what you want to accomplish. If enough people tell you the same thing, it’s time to stop and mull it over. Chances are, they are speaking from experience that they are trying to help you benefit from.

        7) Ask yourself if your goal is really attainable.

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        quote-Bruce-Lee-a-goal-is-not-always-meant-to-89079

          The hardest thing in life to hear is, “You’ll never ___________ because ___________.” However, if you are told this, stop and think. Are you trying to do something that goes beyond the norm but you can realistically expect to achieve, or are you trying to do something utterly preposterous, like become a neurosurgeon even though you have palsy in your hands? Sometimes we have to switch directions or settle for something less. In this case, it’s not that your friends and family don’t support you, but they are being more realistic about how far you can go than you are.

          8) Try to understand why they don’t support you.

          Sometimes people say one thing, only to have someone hear something entirely different. This is where establishing a dialogue comes in. Getting to understand where the other person is coming from is a key factor in learning what you can do to obtain their support. This requires some empathy and maybe even a little salesmanship, but it’s well worth it in the end, and will strengthen your relationship, too.

          9) Ask yourself what you would tell you if you were them.

          quote-Bruce-Lee-mistakes-are-always-forgivable-if-one-has-332

            One of the most difficult things to admit is that we all sometimes give good advice, but are rubbish about taking it. Put yourself in the other person’s position and ask yourself, “If I saw So-and-so doing this, would I support him/her or warn against it?” This may not be a fun way to understand others, but it can help you see the issue from the other side.

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            10) Change your approach, your goals, your behavior, or all three.

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              No one wants to hang around with a self-aggrandizing jerk. If you come off as arrogant, if your goal is set too high for even gods to achieve reasonably, or if you demand support and assistance instead of asking for it, it is past time to make some changes. People appreciate being asked for help, but no one likes to have their help simply assumed. Understanding how, when, and who to approach for help is important to getting the support you need to achieve your goals!

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              Last Updated on February 20, 2019

              Building Relationships: 11 Rules for Self-Promotion

              Building Relationships: 11 Rules for Self-Promotion

              It’s no secret: to get ahead, you have to promote yourself. But for most people, the thought of promoting themselves is slightly shady. Images of glad-handing insurance salesmen or arrogant know-it-alls run through our heads.

              The reality is that we all rely on some degree of self-promotion. Whether you want to start your own business, sell your novel to a publisher, start a group for your favorite hobby, or get a promotion at work, you need to make people aware of you and your abilities. While we’d like to think that our work speaks for itself, the fact is that usually our work needs us to put in some work to attract attention before our work can have anything to say.

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              The good news is that self-promotion doesn’t have to be shady — in fact, real self-promotion almost by definition can’t be shady. The reason we get a bad feeling from overt self-promoters is that, most of the time, their efforts are insincere and their inauthenticity shows. It’s clear that they’re not building a relationship with us but only shooting for the quick payoff, whether that’s a sale, a vote, or a positive performance evaluation. They are pretending to be our friend to get something they want. And it shows.

              Real self-promotion extends beyond the initial payoff — and may bypass the payoff entirely. It gives people a reason to associate themselves with us, for the long term. It’s genuine and authentic — more like making friends than selling something. Of course, if you’re on the make, that kind of authenticity makes you vulnerable, which is why the claims of false self-promoters ring hollow: they are hollow.

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              The main rule of self-promotion is to be the best version of yourself. That is, of course, a little vague and is bound to mean something different to everyone. But here’s a few more specific things to keep in mind when working to get the word out about you and your work:

              1. Add value: What separates you from everyone else who does what you do is the particular value you bring to your clients, customers, or users. The same applies to your marketing efforts — people tune out if you’re just blathering on about how great you are. Instead, apply your particular expertise in demonstrable ways — by adding insightful points to a discussion or blog post comments, by creating entertaining and informative promotional spots, etc.
              2. Be confident: If you are telling people something that adds value to their lives, there’s no reason to feel as if you’re intruding. Stand up tall and show that you have faith in yourself, your abilities, and your work. After all, if you don’t have confidence in yourself, why should anyone else?
              3. Be sensitive to context: Always be aware of and responsive to the person or people you’re talking to right now, and the conditions in which you’re relating to them. You can’t just write a pitch and deliver it by rote every time you meet someone — you need to adapt to changing environments (are you at a cocktail party or a boardroom meeting?) and the knowledge levels and personalities of the people you’re talking to (are you describing your invention to an engineer or a stay-at-home dad?). The idea of talking points is useful here, because you have an outline to draw on but the level of “fleshing out” is based on where you are and to whom you’re talking.
              4. Be on target: Direct your message towards people who most need or want to hear it. You know how annoying it is to see someone plugging their unrelated website in a site’s comments or in your email inbox — if we only got legitimate offers for things we had an immediate need for, it wouldn’t be “spam”. Seek out and find the people who most need to know about what you do; for everyone else, a simple one-line description is sufficient.
              5. Have permission: Make sure the people you talk to have given you “permission” to promote yourself. That doesn’t mean you have to start every conversation with “Can I take a few minutes of your time to tell you about…” (though that’s not a bad opening in some circumstances); what it means is that you should make sure the other they’re receptive to your message. You don’t want to be bothered when you’re eating dinner with your family, in a hurry to get to work, or enjoying a movie, right? In those moments, you aren’t giving anyone permission to talk to you. Don’t interrupt other people or make your pitch when it’s inconvenient for them — that’s almost guaranteed to backfire.
              6. Don’t waste my time: If you’re on target, sensitive to context, and have permission, you’re halfway there on this one; but make sure to take no more time than you have to, and don’t beat around the bush. Once you have my attention, get to the point; be brief, be clear, and be passionate.
              7. Explain what you do: Have you ever come across a website or promotional brochure that looked like this:

                Advanced Enterprise Solutions Group has refactored the conceptualization of power shifts. We will rev up our ability to facilitate without depreciating our power to engineer. We believe we know that it is better to iterate macro-micro-cyber-transparently than to matrix wirelessly. A company that can syndicate fiercely will be able to e-enable faithfully.
                (With thanks to the Andrew Davidson’s Corporate Gibberish Generator)

                Some people (and corporations too) have a hard time telling people what they do. They hide behind jargon and generalities.

                Don’t you be one of them! Explain clearly what it is you actually do and, following #7 below, what value you offer your audience.

              8. Tell me what you offer me: Clearly explain what’s in it for your audience — why they should choose you over some other freelancer, business partner, employee, or product. How is what you have to say going to enrich their life or business?
              9. Tell me what you want from me: You’ve made your pitch, now what? What do you want your audience to do? Tell them to visit your site, read your book, but your product, set up a meeting with you, promote you, or whatever other action you want them to take. This is rule #1 for salespeople — be sure to ask for the sale. It applies just as well if what you’re selling is your talents, your capabilities, or your knowledge.
              10. Give me a reason to care: Be personal. Explain not only what you do but why what you do will make my life better. Both iPods and swapmeet knock-off mp3 players play music; but iPods make people’s lives better, by being easier to use, more stylish, and more likely to attract attention and make their users look “cool”. Part of this is showing that you care about the people you’re marketing to — responding to their questions, meeting and surpassing their needs, making them feel good about themselves. With few exceptions, this can’t be faked; even when it can, it’s far easier to just genuinely care.
              11. Maintain relationships: Self-promotion doesn’t end once you’ve delivered your message. Re-contact people periodically. Let people know what you’re up to, and show a genuine interest in what they’re up to. Don’t drop a connection because they don’t show any immediate need for whatever you do — you never know when they will, and you never know who they know who will. More importantly, these personal connections add more value than just a file full of prospective clients, customers, or voters.

              Self-promotion that doesn’t follow these rules comes off as false, forced, and ultimately forgettable. Or worse, it leaves such a bad taste in the mouths of your victims that the opposite of promotion is achieved — people actively avoid working with you.

              In the end, promoting yourself and your work isn’t that hard, as long as you a) are genuinely interested in other people and their needs and b) stay true to yourself and your work. Seek out the people who want — no, need — what you have to offer and put it in front of them. That’s not so hard, is it?

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              Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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