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How To Take Slow Steps Towards The “Are You Okay?” Chat

Slowly, gently, but warmly.

There’s no doubt that, as a general consensus, many of us can talk all hours of the day. But when it comes to talking about things like our wellbeing and overall health, it’s pretty easy to clam up. No matter how intro or extroverted you are. A lot of us can try to avoid the ‘are you okay?’ Conversation all together, and post the actual R U OK Day idea, it’s a conversation we otherwise rarely hear about.

Maybe it’s to avoid any risk of embarrassment or judgement. So when asking someone about how they’re feeling, it’s probably best to take slow, chill steps towards the concern, rather than diving, head first, into the deep end. Here’s where to start.

Start Casual

Talking about the way we’re feeling in a deeper manner can often be a daunting thing to navigate. While it’s completely normal to not feel as okay as you should sometimes, it seems as though it takes a lot of pride swallowing to admit that we might need some help managing. If one of your mates seems like they’re a little more on the quiet side than usual, or seems as though they’re not coping like they usually do, the best place to start is a conversation.

Ask them about the random things that encompass their day and keep it casual. By keeping it light hearted and casual you’re able to build up the trust that needs to be there and ease into the heavier stuff.

“How’s your gym routine going?”
“Is work treating you good atm?”
“You juggling all those assignments ok?”

Make Them Comfortable

By making them comfortable they’ll be able to let down some of the walls that they spent time building up. Nobody is perfect, so admitting any of the struggles you may have been facing throughout the past couple weeks would help to normalise what they’re going through too. It could be anything from work anxieties, to having a laugh about a horrible date you went on a little while ago.

“Yo, I went on this horrendous date last week, it happens!”
“I’ve had a few gripes with this co-worker recently, totally relate.”
“Why do you reckon they’re causing you so much stress?”

Don’t Force It

It’s best not to force conversations like this. So if you know that something is wrong but they don’t want to talk about it quite yet then that’s okay, and totally normal. Try not to get too frustrated at the fact that they’re not giving too much away. It can be scary to vulnerable and open up. Just remind them that you’re always there for them and that you won’t judge what they tell you. After everything is out in the open, continue to casually talk to them as normal.

“If you ever need me, just know I’m here!”
“Honestly if you are ever feeling a bit shit, just flick me a little message.”
“Call me if you’re ever unsure about something, even if you just need a solid vent.”

Be A Friend

This seems simple enough, sure, but you’d be amazed at how many people forget to do this. Life can be hectic at times, and it’s easy to get caught up in our own worries (granted, I’m totally guilty of this also.) Being a friend doesn’t have to be a chore. If anything, it can be as easy as sending an encouraging text out of the blue. It’s almost guaranteed that it would make their day, and probably more inclined to open up in the future.

“Hey darl, just know I’m thinking about you and I hope uni is better today! :)”
“You’ve got this job interview today sorted!!! Good luck, you’ll smash it!”
“Today is a fresh day, onwards and upwards. :)”

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