This blog introduces you to my special brand of BIKE. I show you how to find your Best self, access your Inner strength, tune in to your Killer instincts, and use your Expressive voice. It's inspiring, spiritual, quirky, and it's all in your head. It's about ATTITUDE, not exercise, though that might be a side benefit.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

3 ways to elicit or solicit the support of your friends

When women go through transitions stemming from the start of a new business, the breakup of a relationship, or starting a new exercise regimen, we turn to our friends for support.

There's good reason for that. They want to see you succeed. And just maybe they want to succeed right along with you. We're like lemmings, we want to go where we think the winners are going. And the more, the merrier, right?

If you're in the midst of one of these transitions -- or something else entirely -- I ask you: Where are you getting your help? Are you're friends stepping up in ways you hoped they would? If not, maybe they don't know what you need. Or maybe you're not opening up to them. If you're unsure how to solicit support from your friends (Maybe you learned that's weak. It's not. It's actually showing you know how to access your Inner strength and use your Expressive voice.), here are a few ways to let them know how they might aid you in your transition:

It's one of the oldest tricks in the Holy Bible. Seriously. Not to get all church-y on you or anything, but Matthew 7:7 in the King James version says right there in printed word: "Ask and it shall be given to you; seek and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you." Just like I've always told my children: If you don't ask, you won't get. It's that simple. Just ask your friends for what you need. They might not be able to provide it, but they might be able to tell you who can.

I wasn't always great at this, and sometimes I'm still not, but I have a friend who includes in his email signature the following line: "Referrals are always welcome." You know what, every time I see that, I think, "Smart guy." I haven't yet copied the line in my signature (Have you seen my signature? There's enough there already. One more line? Probably too much.), but I do consciously work at remembering to ask for referrals where I think it's appropriate or might lead somewhere. And almost any referral can lead somewhere. You never know how your carpet cleaning guy might be able to help. Mine cleans a lot of carpets, so he might know someone who knows somebody. You know? Refer back to 1) and ask for it, especially when you run into someone who cannot provide what you need at the moment. As long as you're aim is accurate, they are in the position to refer. For instance, a writer who pitches an editor an idea she liked and would have bought if it wasn't already publishing soon is likely to refer you to someone they know might be looking for a similar idea, so ask for it. 

Your friends are the people who will listen to your ideas about starting that new business. They are the ones who care enough to hear for the 100th time about the scumbag boss or the lowlife boyfriend, as long as you're taking proactive steps to move on. Your friends are the people who process what you tell them. They remember what you're doing, and they relate to the struggles you might be having. They care enough that when they're out in the world, just going about their business, they buy you something thoughtful -- something they know will help push you if they think you could use the support. Last night, a girlfriend of mine handed me the ring pictured above. We were celebrating her birthday, and yet she bought me a gift. She'd been reading about my renewed enthusiasm with the BIKE on Facebook and wanted to help. By buying the ring and giving it to me, she was showing her support. It's the way humans connect. So share your story. Tell your friends what you're doing. They may not directly help you. But they will pat you on the back. They'll give you the high-fives. Or they'll present you with a gift -- a token that will remind you that your friends do care about your success.

Friends are the people who want to support you, who want to help lift you up, even when you don't ask for it directly. But if you tell them what's going on in your life, if you share, they will hear you. And some of them (Not all of them. So don't be too hard on those who don't. It might not be something they're particularly good at. One can't be faulted for that.) will intuitively know how to respond. You will both be the better for it.

Can you think of a time when you didn't ask for help, when you kept your worries or concerns to yourself? That's a form of isolation. How do you think it affected you? What could you have done differently?   


Jennifer Fink said...

I think it's really funny that I emailed you BEFORE I read this post. Thanks, friend!

Jackie Dishner said...

Oh, the irony, Jenny. Did you read my email. Oh dear. And thanks, friend. ;-)

Anjuli said...

Three such simple ways- and yet so important and powerful. Often if I do not ask- no one knows what I am wanting- or if someone does not ask me...later I find out they needed me to help promote something or do something...and I'm like "Oh you should have told me!! I could have easily helped with that"

Great post.