If you find yourself in a position where you know that a good friend or colleague is struggling to advocate for themselves, you should take a moment to consider doing it for them.
Of course, you should ask for their permission and the way you do this is quite simple—you enter into a dialogue with them about it because ultimately what’s at stake is the quality of your growing relationship and the friendship that’s being built.
Questions to ask:
- Why is advocating for yourself so difficult?
- What has happened in your past that would create these types of thought patterns and behaviors?
- Are you truly satisfied with the outcomes?
- Are there any gaps between what you (silently) expect and what you are actually experiencing?
- What do you wish you could say but don’t?
And, of course, one should ask how they can help. Oftentimes the conversation, in an of itself, is enough to kickstart things in the right direction. But, it will be one of many, many conversations to come. Don’t quit the fight for advocacy too early before it takes root.
Because, at the end of the day, your friend will have to learn how to do this on their own. Eventually.