Tuesday, October 25, 2011

No Kittens or Inspirational Videos Allowed

Hello ... I'm back ... sort of.

Life in this Random Family is more chaotic than usual these days. Actually, it has all the elements of a really over dramatic movie of the week ... I wonder if Melissa Gilbert or Meredith Baxter are up for a new role? Anyway, I'm not going to lay out the situations and circumstances that have piled up to create this Mountain of Chaos, what I am going to write about is what is not helpful to people who are in the same or similar situation as I find myself in these days.

If you come across or know someone who is ill, injured, stressed out, overwhelmed, tired, sad or anxious do NOT do the following things ...

1.  Do NOT post random pictures of kittens on their Facebook page, especially pictures of kittens doing unnatural things like reading a book, wearing glasses or pushing a shopping cart. These pictures are frivolous at best and creepy at worst.

2.   Do NOT email them videos of Starfish, Footprints in the Sand or any other random 1980s inspirational message. Its Spam and annoying and no one ever really watches them.

3.   Do NOT tweet them inspirational quotes or random Bible verses, cause nothing says "I don't really care" like a generic quote via social media.

4.   Do NOT ask them how they are doing, only to interrupt them to say how you knew someone in the exact same situation and they were totally fine or worse, their head fell off and their arms turned green.

5.   Do NOT turn their struggles into a conversation starter or gossip at your next social function, no one wants their business discussed by strangers over mini-keish and sliders.

What you CAN do is talk to them. Have a real face to face or over the phone conversation. Take the time out of your busyness to let them know that you really do care. Let THEM talk about how THEY feel. Let them vent, rant or cry. Let them doubt, worry and fret. And then give them a hand getting out of the mire, not three quick tips to a happier life but really friendly encouragement.

When people are feeling down they don't need a life coach or a motivational speaker at their side, they need to feel the support, encouragement and warmth of their friends. Maybe an inspirational quote or a Bible verse is the thing that can help in the moment but say it ... don't tweet it. I stand by my disdain for cat pictures and sappy video links but a coffeejuice never hurt anyone.

The bottom line is, show up, be present and be a real friend not just a click on a page.

A friend is someone who will bail you out of jail. A best friend is the one sitting next to you saying "boy was that fun."
- The Maugles

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