It may not always be obvious when someone you care for is going through a tough time.
All of us play an important role in reaching out and providing the appropriate support they may need. Showing that you care is as simple as starting a conversation or a quick ‘hi’.
Following are some quick tips designed to help you navigate these conversations with empathy and care.
Before the conversation
When to say ‘hi’?
If you feel something is not quite right or notice a change in them, look out for the following:
Do they seem:
Are they going through:
- health issues?
- financial issues?
- other major transitions in life?
Am I ready?
Make sure you are ready to provide them with the support they need by asking yourself:
- Do I have the time?
- Am I in the right headspace for this conversation?
If you think you are not ready, ask someone else whom you think can reach out.
Is this the right place and the right time?
Choose someplace private and quiet, where both of you feel comfortable
During the conversation
Let them know why you’re having this conversation and remember to:
- Show you care and are there for them
- Ask open-ended questions
- Lend a listening ear and give them the space to express themselves
- Show them that you understand
- Be mindful of your body language
- Do not be afraid of silence – accept them as part of your conversation
- Be empathetic and,
- Bring no expectations to the conversation
Ending the conversation and follow-ups
Remember that it doesn’t end with this first conversation!
Continue to stay in touch or encourage them to seek professional help if they seem to be at-risk.
Read more and equip yourself with tips and tools here.
Contributed By: Health Promotion Board (HPB)