Soul Sunday Notes: How to Process Challenging Times Without Burning Out Your Friends & Family (14 Options to Process In Challenging Seasons).
I told a relative yesterday who proclaimed, “You should ask for more help. Pride keeps independent people from getting help,” that I never desire to be that Debby Downer, needy person. God supplies all my needs, not people. The first stop for me is God, not people. I talk to God. I cry with God. I seek God. I receive comfort from God. I process with God. I tell God what I need and desire. Then God either puts me on the heart of people who reach out because they are led by His Spirit, or leads me to the right resources/people.
There is no shame in letting people know you are walking through challenges. I will tell you though people grow weary listening to other people’s pains, challenges, and problems.
I know what it is like to be the person people think is their 24/7 therapist, counselor, pastor, problem solver, listening ear, crisis manager, and intercessor. They come and drop of their needs on top of my own. I can only do so much and after awhile I feel depleted. I am emotionally spent. Some people, I know if they contact me they want something, need something, or have a problem. They can be overwhelmingly exhausting. I don’t want to be the person people run from because I am constantly singing the dirge or in crisis.
So here are my tips for bypassing being the person people hide from because you are too needy:
1. Seek God first! Gosh God gives the best counsel, support, comfort, and challenging seasons are a great time to go even deeper.
2. Get in the Bible and search for passages that pertain to your current struggle. Pray God’s word out loud.
3. Worship God. Worship recalibrates our perspective and takes our mind off our situation and places it on God.
4. Reach out to people paid to help those in crisis. Many bigger ministries have paid intercessors or prayer teams. Cfan, Joyce Meyers, CBN, and many more have numbers you can call or online portals to submit prayer requests. Gosh, I have been submitting requests to Joyce Meyer Ministries since college. It gives your friends and family a break.
5. Ask God to send helpers, supporters. God knows who can handle your situation and your heart.
6. Take an interest in your friends and family without dumping your problems on them. Celebrate with them if you can. Why? Life is not all about us.
7. Give thanks daily. Try to find something to be thankful for.
8. Recognize your friends and family have their own struggles, bills, lives, and issues. If you constantly dump your problems on them, you can become a burden. Yes, our family/close friends are supposed to love without condition. Yet they are not God. They can not handle constant crisis.
9. Learn to encourage yourself in the Lord. I go find inspirational youtube videos & prayers. I play them. I encourage myself instead of looking to someone else.
10. If your situation is chronic, look for support groups, grief share, or for some-you may need to find a therapist. They get paid to listen to people’s problems.
11. Show up when you don’t have a problem. Add value. Ask how other people are doing and listen.
12. Journal thoughts instead of taking up hours of your friend’s and family time talking about yourself. I can not tell you how many times I prayed God would let my phone die with people who talked 3 hours or more about themselves and never let me say anything. Then after their verbal dump on me it’s “I gotta go.”
13. Understand people need breaks from bad news and you need prayer. Share something positive, add value, ask how you can pray for them.
14. Treat others how you wish to be treated. I don’t enjoy only being contacted for prayer requests, needs, everybody’s crisis. So I refrain from putting my burdens on people. I go to God first. Then where He leads me. I try to add more than I take. Because I understand what it’s like to be the burden bearer for others. After awhile you learn to say no, set firm limits, and tell people to seek Jesus or professional help.
I hope something here is helpful! Blessing you. You are so deeply loved.