Just a couple of days after publishing my last post on community, I was diagnosed with Covid! Despite being double-jabbed and boosted, I caught the virus and it has not been ‘just a sniffle’ but rather more like the feeling of being trampled on by elephants.
Yes I know there are have millions of posts, articles, songs, poems and tributes to the way people have stepped up to support each other in the past 2 years, but I was going to write a second post on the topic before Covid hit, the theme being the differences between online and offline communities, a topic which is only touched on here and which I will come back to in the next post.
I have been humbled by the offers of support and help from across many countries – from India, Spain, the US and all across the UK (delivery times for my shopping orders may take awhile).
I have asked myself what have I done to build up such a supportive relationship with these people, some of whom I have never met in person?
On reflection, I think there are 5 core principles to building supportive relationships, online or offline:
- Keep the connections going – over time, over distance, and remain in regular contact
- When you connect, then connect – give that person your whole attention
- Be honest – in work or personal relationships, don’t hide behind a mask, share how you feel and don’t be afraid to ask for help
- Give as well as recognise when time to receive.
- Be brave, trust your intuition, if you think someone is not quite telling you exactly what their situation is, then probe but always with the intention to support
Living on my own, I am grateful for the offers from friends to drop some shopping around, all online options seem only to have delivery options days after I am ‘released’ from isolation! It’s a seasonal reminder of the lessons learned by Scrooge in the fabulous ‘A Christmas Carol’ by Dickens, what really matters in our life is our relationships with others.
Wishing everyone a very Happy & Healthy Christmas!