Reach out! Talk to someone! Start a conversation!
Whether it be just a simple phone call, a chat over online messaging, a catch up over coffee, start talking.
Start a ConversationWhen you have a conversation with someone, your body literally relaxes. Your organs slow down, your blood pressure lowers, your heart rate stabilizes, your level of stress, anxiety and tension decreases, you become more energized, and that headache you just had an hour ago? Gone.
Your shakes or twitch? Gone.
When you have a conversation with someone, your state of mind is more focused instead of foggy, your cognitive function and memory improves, you become more organized and a better problem-solver, you gain other perspectives, and broaden your knowledge. You have clarity.
1. Ask How They Are
- Ask “How are you (really)?”
- Ask about what they are thinking and feeling.
- Ask why they are thinking and feeling that way.
2. (Actually) Listen, Listen, Listen
- Don’t cut the other person off or interrupt them. A friend of mine back in primary school said that she was very thankful to me because she had someone who can just listen to her problem, not necessarily fix it.
- Be present. Make eye contact.
- Be patient.
3. Do Not Judge
- Make the other person feel safe.
- Have an open mind.
- Try not to think negatively of the other person opening up to you.
- Acknowledge by nodding, or saying “yes” or “okay”, or say “I understand”.
- Make sure the other person feels that you may not feel the same way, but that you understand how they feel.
- Maybe share your own experiences about when you felt something not necessarily the same, but something similar.
5. Ask How You Can Help
- If advice is sought, then give it if you have it.
- Give them resources for other people, groups and communities that can help them.
6. Follow Up
- Make time. Make sure you check on the other person every so often.
- Make them feel you are always there for them.
- Let them know you still think of them.
- Repeat Step 1 through to last step.
How do we make sure we are good? And how do we make sure other people like family and friends are good as well?
You guessed it!
Start a conversation. NOW.
It will not only benefit the other person, but yourself as well. You may gain new knowledge, find out the truth about something, or just have a merry, old laugh at memories past.
A meaningful conversation can inspire, and change lives so remember that next time you start one.