Sometimes the message we think we are sending to our spouse, child or loved one and the message we are sending are two different things.
The topic of this blog is letting our loved ones know they can approach us in times of need without fear of being rejected, judged, fixed or lectured. To be approachable means to be friendly, easy to talk to, welcoming and reachable.
- An approachable person remembers their own mistakes and misguided thinking as well as someone who was available in their time of need. Who helped you not to feel alone as you sorted out your thoughts, feelings and behaviors? How did that person make you feel?
- An approachable person will refuse to live in fear—choosing to speak words of hope.
- An approachable person asks themselves if there is unforgiveness or resentment that is hindering intimate connection.
- An approachable person is aware of how they speak about values and convictions. Our opinions may be contributing to the isolation or shame of our family member, friend or co-worker who is struggling in a particular area where we have been dogmatic.
- An approachable person is fully present in the moment and listens. They refuse to act traumatized or overwhelmed by the poor choices of others. Although people disappoint us, try to remember your loved one’s strengths and willingness to overcome setbacks.
- An approachable person avoids comparison (especially between siblings, employees and students). Reinforce the value of individual personalities and unique sets of circumstances.
- An approachable person uses nonverbal language that is warm and open. They might set aside periods of time to simply sitting on the couch, pay attention, give hugs, validate or process problems of the day.
- Here are 10 things to consider if you want to be a more approachable partner, parent or employer.An approachable person reinforces the notion that separation creates opportunity for fear and dysfunctional thinking.
- An approachable person will let it be known that their loved one does not have to turn to others to get their needs met because no matter what he/she may be going through, you have the ability to show up and figure it out together.
- An approachable person knows when to sit silently and weep and when to rejoice with another person.
What are some qualities you see in a person who is approachable? What can you do to copy what has been modeled for you to make yourself more approachable?
Beth Holloway, MA, LPC is a Licensed Professional Counselor and has more than 12 years’ experience in the mental health field. She has recently joined the Miller Counseling Services team and specializes in counseling individuals and couples who have experienced all types of losses including abuse, domestic strife, and trauma. She enjoys leading group therapy classes in the areas of Divorce Recovery, Spiritual Enrichment, Couples and Parent/Child Relationships, Grief Processing and Depression Recovery. Beth has had the privilege of traveling all over the United States and to more than 10 foreign countries and has been enriched by learning about people from diverse cultures and ethnic groups.