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Times are Tough-How Can Family & Friends Support Me?
Keeping Your Family First
When times are tough–How can family and friends support me? For whatever reason, when times are tough it is easy to become isolated from family and friends. Some people simply don't want to talk about difficulties they experience. Maybe it's because they feel it is no one else's business; maybe it's because they are embarrassed. But when times are tough, a supportive network is needed to help you process through the difficulties, problems, concerns, and struggles. Research shows that family and friends, the informal support network, are those most often approached when support is needed. When you talk with someone you trust, the burdens seem lighter and the problems seem less of a concern. Your family and friends cannot help fix the problems, nor should they even if they could. But they can offer support to you in various ways such as emotionally, informationally and physically. They can let you know you are loved and cared for, that you can rely on them for information and advice, and that they'll be there when you're in a pinch for a few extra dollars, or help with chores, a meal or child care. A big part of the solution when times are tough, is allowing others to help you when they can. You need to be willing to allow others to help you in a variety of ways. Of course, with primary relationships with family and friends, there will be reciprocal behavior and exchange of helping most of the time. However, if you are 'down and out' or simply need a helping hand, accept the help when needed.
- Dr. Kathy Bosch, Extension Family Life Specialist, University of Nebraska Panhandle Research & Extension Center
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