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The Best Ways to Help
Novni aims to provide a supportive bully-free community for others. Before commenting you need to ask yourself one simple question:
“Is this comment going to be supportive, non-judgemental, and encouraging on a personal level to the author’s situation?”
The Novni Golden Rules: (Do’s and Don’ts)
- Try your best to be supportive, non-judgemental, and encouraging on a personal level
- Try to form a connection with the user based on their writing
- Put yourself in the user’s shoes and try to see things from their perspective
- Recognize what emotions the user is feeling and try to communicate with that emotion by offering your support
- Tell the author you’re glad they were brave enough to share their story with you if you don’t know what else to say
- Read the user’s post thoroughly and attempt to understand their point of view
- Make promises to the author that you can’t personally keep
- Try to diagnose people
- Say “well...at least…”
- Cast judgement or bully others. Tough love will not be tolerated.
- Use phrases such as "suicide is selfish”, "think of your loved ones", or “you have so much to live for”
- Try to cast a silver lining around their story
- Immediately suggest the author seeks professional help
- Suggest ways to fix their problems or give advice
For Authors That Appear to be in Crisis
Practice active listening skills:
- Withhold judgement
- Reflect back what you think you’ve heard so you’re on the same page
- Clarify and ask questions
- Summarize what you’ve understood
- Share your thoughts, feelings, and suggestions
- Suggest that they check out Novni’s Helplines if you’re uncomfortable continuing the conversation
Ask any of these leading questions (courtesy of Helpguide.org):
- "When did you begin feeling like this?"
- "Did something happen that made you start feeling this way?"
- "How can I best support you right now?"
- "Have you thought about getting help?"
What you can say that helps (courtesy of Helpguide.org):
- "You are not alone in this. I’m here for you."
- "You may not believe it now, but the way you’re feeling will change."
- "I may not be able to understand exactly how you feel, but I care about you and want to help."
- "When you want to give up, tell yourself you will hold off for just one more day, hour, minute—whatever you can manage."