How many times have you heard, “I got your back!” Or, “I got you”? How many times have YOU said it? How many of us know what that really means?
I once had someone in my life that swore they “supported” me in all of my endeavors. I kept looking for this support, this evidence of “having my back,” but I never saw it. Instead, there was some conversation, none of it was encouraging, and some promises that were never kept. That got me thinking that some folks just think it’s a cool thing to say, but aren’t really ready–or don’t know how– to follow through.
To have someone’s back means that you support them; not that you SAY you support them.
Here are some examples of actually having someone’s back:
1. You provide encouraging words. “You can do it!” “Don’t worry about it, it’ll work out.” “Can I help you?” “I believe in you.” These are all examples of little words with a lot of power when said at the right time. I’m blessed to say that I’ve got some really great family and sisterfriends that are really good at this.
2. You provide a shoulder to cry on (emotional support). Don’t talk, just listen–or just let them cry or vent or whatever. Be a sounding board.
3. You provide physical support (upfront and present). You pound the pavement with your loved one. You hand out flyers with them, make phone calls for them, stay up late at night or early morning with them. You exercise with them. You give them a hug or hold their hand. Whatever. These are some of many examples of what you can do to support your loved one.
4. You provide financial support. You give what money (or other gifts) you can in the way they need it without adding to their stress level and without telling the world or throwing it in their face.
5. You provide tough love. You stop enabling their bad behaviors so that they can grow and become healthy and more independent.
6. You take up for them. When they are being lied on or are being misrepresented, you stand up for them in their presence, if needed, but especially in their absence. I’m not talking about people just expressing dislike for your friend. I’m talking about them telling big, boldfaced lies and such that could actually have an adverse effect on your friend’s life. If you are in a position to, speak up and shut that devil down!
These are just a few ways that you can be supportive and truthful when you tell someone, “I got your back.” Expect nothing less from those who say it to you, and certainly make sure that when you say it, you mean it.
I’m just sayin’,
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