Do you really care about your friends, family, colleagues or coworkers but have being thinking of how to start the conversation? No doubt, we all want to be caring individuals who are available to those who are around us. We may be concerned about these individuals or want to check in with them but beginning discussions that appear ‘deep’ or possibly emotional might be intimidating. The world is moving from having deep conversations to just focusing on the mere “hello” or “hi” without actually validating when someone says the famous “okay”.
Here are 5 discussion starters that will be useful when checking on someone.
- Find a neutral place: It’s important that conversations happen at times and in places that feel natural like in the café during breakfast or lunch, jogging around the park, or possibly while taking a ride with someone. The more typical the setting, the less strange and awkward the talk might feel. Every conversation doesn’t have to start in a formal place like offices or conference rooms.
- Maintain eye contact: We’ve all heard people say they’re “ok” when they aren’t. So, looking someone into the eyes when asking or perhaps, asking twice will be an important tactic for starting conversations and validating that someone is truly “ok”. Someone who is going through emotional stress might not say it but when you demonstrate your genuine interest, it will definitely trigger honest response and you can provide the necessary help needed for that individual at that time. This help can either come in the form of reassuring the individual or referral to experts for further assistance.
- Sharing your own feeling: Sometimes it’s important to share your thoughts and feelings to start up a conversation. If you want someone to open up to you, sharing your own feelings especially when positive might help them feel secure and understood. It might be as easy as revealing that you occasionally feel depressed or discussing something you’ve been concerned about recently. This will make it evident that you are willing to discuss feelings with no judgment and shows the individuals that hope is on the way.
- Show of support: If you know someone who had some emotional distress- whether they have recently taken time off work or have spoken about it in the past – don’t be hesitant to inquire how they are doing. There are acceptable ways to do this, and it may not be appropriate to bring up particular specifics, but just asking “how are things now?” or ” I’m here to support you” reminds that individual that they have nothing to be embarrassed of. The manner at wish you approach an individual who is undergoing a difficult moment or had undergone something emotional will really matter. Individuals need genuine concerns and care approach. More than likely, they will open up more when they feel support.
- Observing verbal and nonverbal cues: Besides making eye contacts, it might be beneficial to observe someone’s facial expressions, interpret their body language, and, if appropriate, give them a hug. However, some people prefer to communicate through text or email, which is also okay, but nothing takes the place of face-to face interaction or via zoom/facetime (whatever means possible). Social media is also a great way to remain in touch with people. If any of the social media handles is their major means of communication, check in with them there. Remember, merely liking a post or sharing a funny video doesn’t mean we’ve connected with individuals. Reach out on chat or direct message to start up a conversation.