The Difference Between Help and Support

Go to the right person for the right thing, my buddy always told me. The more you try to fit someone into a designated box, the more unhappy both of you will be.

This gets especially tricky when you’re looking for assistance.

As creatives, sometimes it’s hard to tell what we need in that moment of urgency. We reach out to those around us with sticky toddler-hands, grasping for some kind of comfort when we don’t have the right words. Without the words, it’s inevitable that we’ll push our loved-ones’ boundaries and still not get what we need.

There are two types of aid you can ask for: help and support. These aren’t really the same thing.

Help is when someone edits your manuscript, introduces you to the person running an open mic, or shows up at your house with tissues and chocolate when you’ve been having a shitty week. Sometimes the most helpful person in the world has a rough way about them, and won’t do as well if asked to offer emotional support.

Support is when someone builds you up in an unending fountain of encouragement. Support is when you know someone is rooting for you, sending good vibes, praying for you or otherwise in your corner. Sometimes the most supportive person in the world is energetically introverted, or has a lot on their plate, and won’t do as well if asked to give more proactive help.

Help is invaluable.
Support is priceless.

Go to the right people for the right things.

 

I went to a bookstore and asked the saleswoman, ‘Where’s the self-help section?’ She said if she told me, it would defeat the purpose.”
― George Carlin

 

There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.”
― John Holmes

 

hands

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5 thoughts on “The Difference Between Help and Support

  1. woodlandwhimsy

    This is a great piece, thank you for writing it.
    Support is priceless. I live far away from most of my support, but I couldn’t get by without it. I appreciate help, but can get by without it.

    Reply

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