Sometimes we rely so much on our friends and coworkers that we often forget to make sure that they are getting what they need. Here are a few quick tips on how to replenish their energy.
Type B personalities are often very good listeners. In fact, some describe type B personalities as those who give their energy when they’re with people and type A personalities as those who gain energy from being with people. If that’s the case, then no one has an unlimited supply of energy.
So regardless of your personality type, do your best to refill that person’s cup:
- Directly offer to listen to them. Why be direct? Because some people will be offended by a series of questions even though you’re just “trying to be a good listener.” So by offering to listen to them, you give them the opportunity to say “no, thank you.” Or, if they say “yes,” then they can fully and selfishly use that time.
- Buy them a small token of thanks. I’m taking about a candy bar, a coffee, or even an item of fruit. No, I don’t think money solves everything, but sometimes a simple gesture shows that you’re thinking of them. If they feel connected, that might be enough to turn around their day.
- Take some work off their plate. If it’s a coworker, take on a small bit of work for them so they can take a break for a few moments. Just be careful to ask them first since the task you selected might have been something they were really excited about. Furthermore, transparency is important because it again gives people the opportunity to say “no.” For instance, new parents are told to be very clear about what kind of help they desire in the early months. But you have to be direct, precise, and clear with your intentions. Neither the new parent or the grandparents want to be surprised with the revelation that the overnight visit was unhelpful. All you have to do is ask if the help is desired in a way that allows your friend to easily decline.
- Leave them alone. Next time you think you’re about to “take from his or her reservoir” by speaking to them, ask yourself if you really need to be social. If you need help turning off your talkative mind, I recently wrote another article describing tips on how to avoid being chatty. But briefly, if you gain something from a friend who is listening to you, don’t let them listen to you to the point where they’re drained.
- Share with them something that you know they would be interested in. It could be as simple as an article that you think they would find fascinating. I find that sending a link to someone (as long as you don’t pressure them to read it) is a low commitment way of showing someone that you thought of them.
- Bonus Point: Just say “thank you” in a sincere way. Nothing fills a person’s emotional reservoir back up as well as letting the person know that their investment in time was well spent.
Replenishing the cups of your friends is part of building a healthy community. There is no doubt that both of you will feel better for the actions you take to show you care.
Which gestures have you used to help lift up your friends and coworkers?