Showing Up for Others

Showing Up for Others
Photo by Andrea Tummons / Unsplash

Earlier this week, I was running late for the office. I was about to leave, but I had a bunch of things to carry to the car: a water bottle, my lunch bag, and my regular bag. I tried to carry everything at once but failed. Just as I was figuring out how to manage it all in one go, my husband noticed my struggle. I didn't ask for his help, but he offered to assist me in carrying some of the items downstairs to the car. I wouldn't have minded taking everything by myself, but his thoughtfulness in noticing my struggle made all the difference.

Most Mondays, I spend quality time with one of my good friends. It's our time to catch up, vent (if necessary), reflect, talk, walk, or simply be with each other. This week, too, I texted my friend towards the end of the day to see if she was available. I had about an hour left before I could call it a day. Unfortunately, she was not available. She had a different schedule this week and had gone to visit her family after work. I thought that since we wouldn't be able to catch up, I would finish my day and head straight home. However, my sweet friend decided to show up. Ten minutes after our initial conversation, she texted me back, saying that she would be able to meet me once I finished my work. I would have been perfectly fine if she hadn't come to see me that day, but her decision to join our quality time made all the difference.

Sometime in 2020, when the fear of COVID-19 was gripping the world, my dad contracted it. Amidst the uncertainties of the pandemic, I felt nervous and scared for my dad. I shared the news with my close friends via text in the morning. Around 12:30 in the afternoon, I heard a knock on my apartment door. Two of my friends showed up, all masked up, holding some goodies to let me know that they were thinking about me and my family. I was moved by their kind gesture and started crying. My friends had no obligation to show up for me that day, but they did, and their act of kindness made all the difference.

If you think about it, these all are seemingly little things that people did for me, but their actions had a huge impact on me. On that day, when my husband helped me carry my stuff, I felt a deep sense of gratitude for his thoughtfulness all day long.  The quality time I spent with my friend revitalized me in a positive way, even long after I returned home. Even now, the memory of my friends showing up at my doorstep to check on me fills my heart with love and gratitude, knowing that someone cared enough to make an effort to come see me in the midst of their busy day.

There are many instances in life when you can go about your daily routine without people being there for you. However, when they show up and make you feel valued and loved, it makes a significant difference. One thing I have personally realized is the profound impact it has on the quality of relationships. I have experienced the richness of connectivity, trust, and love when people show up for me, and when I reciprocate. Relationships are a two-way street built upon love, trust, and intentional effort. So, keep that in mind and observe what’s happening with people around you. Often, we do not realize the importance of showing up. Yet, our small acts of kindness and being there for others can profoundly impact people in our lives.

If you have been thinking about a friend but haven’t reached out to them in a while, simply send a text or give them a call. If distance isn’t an issue, maybe even meet them in person. When you are with someone, be fully present and listen to them. One of my pet peeves is people scrolling on their phones while I am talking to them. I am sure we all value undivided attention when we are together with someone, so let’s put down our phones and enjoy each other’s presence. In this era of social media, letting go of your phone and giving undivided attention to someone is one of the best ways of showing up and communicating that you care for them.

Other simple ways to show up could include genuinely asking people how they are doing in their lives. Sometimes, people don’t realize how much a sincere “How are you?” can brighten someone’s day! The tone and expression you use in communication matter. A quick check-in can make people feel loved. So, don’t underestimate the importance of a simple message, a thoughtful gesture, or a willingness to lend a helping hand to people around you. These little things can provide comfort and reassurance to anyone at any point in their lives, especially if someone is going through a tough time or feeling alone.

At the end of the day, regardless of the distractions around us, human connection is what truly matters. Showing up for someone and letting them know through your actions and words that you’ve got their back deeply impacts your connections. So, make an effort to be there for people, and when others do the same for you, make sure you let them know you appreciate them.

With this in mind, I hope you continue to show up for people around you, and may they do the same for you! If you have any stories of your own about showing up, please share them with The Growth Mindset Community.

I will see you in the next blog post. Take care 😊