Photo by Juan Pablo Serrano Arenas
Words, words, words. We’re adept at using them in daily life – to communicate what we need, to discipline our children, and to put forth ideas in our work meetings. But sometimes, words aren’t enough. That doesn’t necessarily mean we’re referring to the most intense of situations, where you need to truly apologize to someone, lest they dramatically leave your life in whirlwind fashion.
Sometimes, the sentiment we wish to give is much larger and stronger than words can convey. Even the most skilled authors will admit this to a degree. Thankfully, there is more than one way to communicate with someone, and we all know what it is that actions speak much louder than.
But when there’s a very important situation you need to show your attendance to – be that a friend becoming recently engaged, a get well soon sentiment for a friend suffering from a diagnosis, or in order to truly show our thanks to someone who has pulled out all the stops for us, crafting a more complete message is important.
Let’s discuss with each other just how this may be achieved:
Being there can be enough. If actions speak louder than words, than being close to someone and able to hold them, or give them a comforting hug, or buy them a coffee, or sit with them in silence can be important. For instance, if your friend loses their partner to illness, it’s hard to find the words to know what to say in this instance. Nothing you could say would be enough. It would be your attempt to paper over the reality of teh situation with well-meaning but clumsy assurances.
Instead, sitting with your friend close, in silence, and comforting them with an arm around their shoulders can mean more than anything else. They’ll know what you mean. They’ll be grateful for you to be there. You’ll be supporting them, despite saying nothing. Sometimes it’s the moments in the silence that have the most ‘gravitas’ – because sometimes you don’t have to say anything to express what you mean.
A Token Of Appreciation
More than the most expensive gifts, tokens of appreciations are thorough, and beautiful additions, and can often be very thoughtful. We feel good when we receive them. Indoor plants and flowers can work this way. They bring us a message without words needing to be said. Plants can signify comfort, or celebration, or love. They can bring with them a range of meanings, and through all of that, they show life and the beauty of the natural world. As such, they present the message while also remaining vital, interesting, and rejuvenating. A token of appreciation given in this manner can be remembered long after your words have been forgotten.
That’s not a bad place to start.
A Favor Or Willing Aid
Putting your money where your mouth is, so to speak, can also be important. Perhaps you’ve always told your sibling that you’ll be for them no matter what. Now that they’ve broken up with their partner and have nowhere to stay, now is the time to be called on, even if it’s somewhat inconvenient for you.
Willing aid or a favor for someone in need, which is often someone unable to completely stay considerate of your daily schedule – is essential. It can speak louder than words. It can also bond you to this person for a lifetime. When someone has really been there for you, you remember it. Of course, there are certain disclaimers to be used here. It’s hard to help someone who does not wish to help themselves. Sometimes, it’s worth measuring just if your aid is the best thing for this person at this movement in time. If it is, that’s fantastic.
To look at it from the opposite angle, it’s not uncommon for people to be more than willing to help. It may be that you’re actually doing something for them by allowing them the time to do this. Keeping this in mind can help you apply the best care, and to help this action speak louder than words.
Knowing When To Interfere
Knowing when to interfere is important. Sometimes, you can overstep your mark. Perhaps your friend has just given birth to their newborn child, and you’re there to help them celebrate. Yet when you bring them home with their partner and parents, you know that you’ve done enough for that day. You don’t have to hang around in order to be seen as a supportive friend. It can be nice to let them have their moment as a family unit, unless they specifically invite you to stay. This is just one example, but it shows that being considerate for other’s needs can be worthwhile.
Reading the room sometimes is enough of a gift. If you’ve accompanied your friend to meet their biological parent after many years of being raised by adoptive parents, it can be worthwhile watching them and protecting them, but also letting them deal with this situation in their own way. A silent presence is sometimes more than enough, and shows real emotional intelligence practiced to the benefit of your friend. If you’re lucky, someone else will use this on you.
‘Prove It’ To Them
Sometimes, saying something that requires an approach more emotive than words can literally mean proving them wrong, or right. Perhaps your friend has assured you that despite your anxiety issues (which they have spent time helping you with), you can learn to drive and do so well. You may be thoroughly happy for their assistance, and wish to treat them to a meal out to show your appreciation. That’s a nice idea. But what if you quietly attended driving lessons, and passed your test? Showing them that final license after they’ve helped you with encouragement can not only help you perform something important for yourself, but it also shows them the role they’ve had in your life. This can be much more beautiful than a ‘thank you’ card – although that’s always a lovely addition.
With this advice, we hope you can more easily understand when and where an emotive response is needed to approach moments of true gravity.