Hello again everyone,
Long time no see. Firstly, I apologize about the huge delay between this post and my last. It has been a hectic few months but starting now, I will do my absolute best to get back on track and complete my travel blogs as well as update everyone on where I’m at in life in general. I do appreciate all of your support and kindness in helping me get to where I am today. However, this post will not be a continuation about my travels in Spain. In this post, I want to cover a topic that is very close to heart – mental health and how we can carry a positive mindset and lifestyle into our community.
A lot of the time when people ask you what you’re afraid of, they’re not typically looking for the real answer. In fact, I personally think they’re looking for an answer that’s going to make them feel better about their own fears. Almost like asking a person “how are you?” or “how’s it going?”. Most people don’t want to actually know but now ask it to fulfil their moral obligation of having asked. It’s mostly the reason I believe we as a society have been conditioned to answer that question with “I’m fine, and you?” or “life’s good” or any generic answer that tells the world that everything in life is going great. When was the last time you were truly honest when answering that question despite the fact you’ve had a rough day? Let’s be real – we’ve learned that people, with all due respect, don’t truly care so what’s even the point.
Humanity has been so far suppressed for feeling down that we no longer stop to think and actually care about how other people feel.
Doesn’t that make you mad?
With the rising number of cases of suicides related to depression and the increasing numbers of patients with depression related to loneliness, social isolation and anxiety, it angers me that we live in a world where we don’t talk about it because “it’s not the right thing to say”. The “I don’t want to ruin the vibe” excuse. Personally, I don’t think we’re “ruining the vibe” if we answer honestly. Yes, it does make us vulnerable but it does strengthen our relationship with the people around us. Let’s be honest with each other, why ask someone how they are if you’re not willing to sit down and listen to what they have to say.
A few weeks ago, I asked my coworker how he was when he first came in, and he told me “he was good”. A couple of hours into the work day, he starts to look really stressed out and at this point, I’m like okay, it’s probably just about a bid, NBD (No Big Deal). Later that afternoon, he came by my desk asking for a favor about a customer meeting (rare and great opportunity) so I graciously accept. He lingered at my desk as little longer so I asked again, “XXX, how are you? Like really, are you okay?”
I watched as his mind immediately backtracked to cover up any signs of stress and he starts to say “it’s fine, I don’t want to discourage you”. I reassure him that I’m fine – insert bad psych major insinuation joke here – and I told him that if he ever needed to talk that my door was always open. So, he pulled up a chair and he told me about the stress that he was facing in his life at work and at home. He told me how he felt unsure about his future, even though he was about to hit the big 4-0. He told me more than I originally thought was going on and I watched him lighten his stress load, even just for a little while. Despite the fact that I didn’t have much to say and there was no way i could say anything to make him feel better, he left that conversation with me more light-hearted and positive than when he had originally when he started it. Since that day, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about that conversation.
What if I’d never asked?
I guess what I’m trying to say here is that we, as a society, as a community, need to learn to care about people again in a genuine way. Not in a superficial, let’s go out tonight/this weekend kind of way. In the genuine way showing how you want you listen to what’s going on inside their head. In that way that makes them feel loved and valued for their presence in your life. In a way that lets them know that they’re not alone and they can count on you as a person in their life. In the real way that you know you’d want someone to be there for you. Be the person you’d want them to be for you. I think it’s high time we left the superficial act at home and learn to be the friend everyone wants and needs.
If you’re already that person, then YAY, good on you! Keep going – I am so incredibly proud of you!
This is a PSA for everyone else who listens to respond instead of hearing someone out.
Love your people.
They need you more than you think.
Always your girl,