Together we can

April 7, 2020 3:34 am | Oleh Dale Carnegie Editor
Dale Carnegie > Referensi > Artikel > Artikel > Together we can

COVID-19 pandemic has a significant impact on every aspect of our lives. The most felt aspect of the change is socioeconomic. Direct interaction between people with one another is limited. Even if we meet, we have to keep a minimum of one meter with each other. We are no longer free to shake hands, let alone embrace friends and relatives that are close to us. The habit of “hang out” in a cafe or working together in coworking space is much reduced. Some companies even implement work from home to support physical distancing. But some people must get out of the house because of work – like those at the forefront in fighting COVID-19. Other people are forced to close their businesses, furlough without pay, and daily workers who do not get income.

Everyone is experiencing a difficult situation and struggling to deal with it. Who should help whom? This is where our solidarity is tested. Do we choose not to care or share some of our fortunes to others? Do we choose to hoard masks and sell at high prices or donate them? Do we choose to panic buying so that others find it difficult to meet their needs or refrain from spending inappropriately?

Sheldon Cohen in his book “Social Support Measurement and Intervention” said that social support makes humans more capable of dealing with problems. Social support can reduce the level of stress we felt, foster optimism, and provide solutions to overcome problems. There are times when we can provide social support and there are times when we need social support. Together, we can confidently overcome this situation.

Generally, social support can be obtained from people closest to us like friends and family, religious leaders, or experts like psychologists and social workers. However, in today’s digital era, we can provide to and get social support from practically anyone. We can send positive messages to be read by many people on social media or donate funds through various online donation applications. Cohen et al. mention some forms of social support that we can do.

  1. Emotional Support
    Emotional support is support by showing our empathy and attention to others. People who get our emotional support will feel understood and helped and do not feel alone in dealing with the problem, so their stress levels are reduced. In practice, emotional support can be carried out in the following concrete actions:
    • Give genuine attention to others. We can greet and ask how they are feeling empathetically. For example, what are their conditions, challenges they faced, or the health condition of their family member?
    • Be a good listener. We listen to their stories and encourage them to talk more about their condition. By being listened to, people will feel understood and become calmer.
    • Talk in terms of the other person’s interests. When they share their story, we respond appropriately to the topics that they talk about, to show that we listen and have the same interests or concerns.
  1. Instrumental Support
    Instrumental support is tangible support in the form of money or goods, such as donating funds, personal protective equipment, food, or our time and energy in the form of volunteering. This assistance will be more powerful when we do it sincerely. That is, rather than exaggerating our self-contribution, let’s make the other people (that we help) feel important and do it sincerely. For example, we can say:
    • Our donation of personal protective equipment (PPE) is nothing compared to the services you, health workers who serve at the frontline, have and can make with this PPE.
    • The fortune that I have will be meaningless without you, my friends who always encourage me.
    • This nation and country have done a lot for me, now is an opportunity for me to give back by becoming a volunteer.
  1. Informational Support
    Information support is sharing information that helps others to better understand the situation and ultimately to be able to take appropriate action. The existence of various information on social media which is partly hoaxes makes many people anxious. It would be better if we share accurate information from a trusted source. That way we not only give them better insights but also balance negative information with positive information and reduce the adverse effects.When sharing information and insights, let’s not use it to criticize, condemn or complain to other people. There may be opinions, attitudes, and behaviors that we don’t like. When that happens, we can share additional information tactfully and timely, without blaming and criticizing others, so as not to create conflict.

Let us support each other together, so that we can survive and overcome these challenges, until our life returns to normal. Being in difficult conditions should not be an excuse not to do good. Start with small things that we can do for the people closest to us, our colleagues, and the people around us.


Andini Admaja – Trainer Dale Carnegie

Jakarta & Head Office

Jl. Paus No. 84 A
Jakarta Timur 13220
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