Lisa A. Kramer

Author, Speaker, Theater Artist, Creativity Facilitator

Support or Encouragement?

"I love you and I support you."

I've heard this phrase a lot lately, and for some reason it makes me cringe. I'm not sure why. I thought perhaps I should explore my reaction in order to understand and break away from it.

Let's start with the dictionary definition of "Support". According to support means:
"1. to bear or hold up; serve as a foundation for.
2. to sustain or withstand (weight, pressure, strain, etc.) without giving way; serve as a prop for.
3. to undergo or endure, especially with patience or submission; tolerate.
4. to sustain (a person, the mind, spirits, courage, etc.) under trial or affliction: They supported him throughout his ordeal.
5. to maintain (a person, family, establishment, institution, etc.) by supplying with things necessary to existence; provide for: to support a family.  . . . "
 There are  many more elements to this definition, but I think I can end it here as the two definitions that I've highlighted give a hint to my discomfort; particularly number 3.
I don't want to be tolerated as I figure out my next steps in life. I don't need the support of anyone else. But what I do need is encouragement. I need belief. I need enthusiasm. Maybe that all falls under the definition of support, but I guess in my own warped and twisted view of the world that word implies that I am incapable of doing something without someone else providing for me. That is not true.
I am capable of supporting myself and supporting my family. But, I do acknowledge that it is easier with a partnership where nobody bears the burden of support--where we collaborate to achieve in equal parts.
I guess it is all about semantics.
Are there any words or phrases that rub you the wrong way?