As Latinas, warmth comes naturally to us—and being a supportive friend is important. With help from our comadres we can achieve a healthy, content and successful life.
Dr. James Prochaska, a well-respected researcher on making healthy lifestyle changes, offers the following advice to those looking to be a more supportive friend.
When your friend is considering a change, one loving and kind thing you can do is be empathetic. Show her you understand.
Dr. Prochaska states that when people are thinking about making a change, they can feel like they want to take action but have self-doubt at the same time.
As a helpful comadre, you can let your friend know that you understand how hard making a change can be, and that you are there to support her as she tries to move into action.
It’s a good idea for the person asking for support to say what kind of support she needs. This isn’t always easy, so the helper may need to prompt her friend to ask for what she needs.
Miriam asked how she could help and I told her. You may also want to give your friend permission to tell you what is not helpful.
As the helping comadre, don’t fall into giving advice right away. Wait for your friend to ask for what she needs, or ask her, “What can I do to help?”
As Latinas, warmth comes very naturally to us. We are lucky that way. We know how to show cariño.
It is a good reminder to show authentic cariño and acceptance for your friend. Give authentic feedback. You can say something like, “I know how hard it can be to make changes and I know you’ll do the best you can.”
De Las Mías is about helping one another succeed. When we have a strong support system, we can be more successful. Trust the journey, trust in each other.