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Weathering Tough Times: It's Important to Reach Out to Others Needing Your Friendship
Keeping Your Family First
Operating any business is somewhat of a gamble. Even though our conservative Mid-west is typically not known for spending money carelessly by gambling, our farmers and ranchers constantly take a risk with factors often beyond their control: the weather, growing season, pests, diseases, yield, water supply, cost of supplies, and the interest rates on past due notes.
We tend to think that we should be self-sufficient and able to cope with problems and handle stress effectively. But when you are the one experiencing tough times, it is often difficult to help yourself. We simply need others to reach out to us. A telephone call, a note in the mail, an invitation for lunch or a coffee break, an email message, are all ways that we can extend our friendship and show concern to others. Of course, a friendly smile and sincere listening ear is probably the best gift you can give to someone going through stressful times.
Think back to a past experience in your life that was extremely difficult. Who helped you? How did they help you? How did you want to be helped? What helped you the most? The answer to these questions will remind you how to be an effective helper. Family and friends are more sought after for assistance and support than professionals. Most people have an informal network in place who can help in times of crisis. These people can give information and advice, provide material assistance, and offer emotional support. All of these behaviors are important to provide but it's sometimes more than we can deal with. At certain times, others need professional counseling, referral to legal or other professional services. Family and friends play a critical role in helping those in need access services.
- Dr. Kathy Bosch, Extension Family Life Specialist, University of Nebraska Panhandle Research & Extension Center
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Photo Credit - Rita Shelley