The Art of Checking In: How to Ask Someone if They Are Okay
Some years back our society didn’t have any awareness about mental health issues, but now we’re more aware that mental health is equally important as physical health and has a major impact on our lives.
However, despite the increase in awareness, many people still struggle to ask for the therapist’s help when it’s needed.
We need to know how we can ask someone about their mental health, are they okay or not?
We need to offer support to those who might be struggling and save them from severe mental health issues.
Why People May Not Ask For Help
There are many reasons why someone may not ask for help when they are struggling.
Still, we’re fighting with a stigma about mental health. A large number of people feel ashamed and embarrassed to admit their mental health issues.
At some point, some people are not aware of their condition, they are having mental health issues, or even they don’t know how to explain what they’re actually feeling from the inside.
People don’t want to share their feelings or mental health with people because they don’t need to burden others with their irrelevant problems. They always feel their health issues are not important enough to get others’ attention, or they don’t want to look weak or vulnerable in front of others.
It’s essential to know that everyone needs support and asking for help is always a sign of strength, not a weakness anymore.
Signs That Someone May Be Struggling
Sometimes, people may not explicitly state that they are struggling, so it’s important to be aware of the signs that someone may be going through a tough time. Some of the signs to look out for include:
- Changes in mood or behavior
- Withdrawal from social situations
- Lack of interest in activities they previously enjoyed
- Changes in sleep patterns
- Increased use of drugs or alcohol
- Difficulty concentrating
If you’re seeing any of these signs in someone you need to be alert, frequently check the person, and always ask how they are feeling.
How To Ask Someone If They Are Okay
When it comes to asking someone if they are okay, it’s important to approach the conversation with empathy and understanding.
Start by choosing a time and place where the person feels comfortable and safe. You can begin the conversation by saying something like, “I’ve noticed that you haven’t seemed like yourself lately. Is everything okay?”
It’s important to listen actively and to validate the person’s feelings, even if you don’t fully understand what they are going through.
You can use phrases like, “That sounds really tough,” or “I’m sorry that you’re going through this.” Avoid giving unsolicited advice or trying to fix the person’s problems. Instead, offer your support and let them know that you are there for them.
What To Do If Someone Says They Are Not Okay
If someone tells you that they are not okay, it’s important to take their concerns seriously. Ask them if there is anything you can do to support them and offer to help them find resources or professional support if needed. It’s also important to check in with them regularly and to follow up on any commitments you make.
It’s important to remember that you are not responsible for fixing the person’s problems, but you can offer your support and be a source of comfort for them during a difficult time.
Common Mistakes To Avoid When Checking In
When checking in on someone, it’s important to avoid common mistakes that can make the conversation feel awkward or uncomfortable. Some of these mistakes include:
- Being too pushy or intrusive
- Minimizing the person’s feelings
- Offering unsolicited advice
- Dismissing their concerns
- Trying to “fix” their problems
Remember that the most important thing you can do is to listen actively and offer your support without judgment or criticism.
The Benefits of Checking In Regularly
Checking in on others regularly can have a number of benefits, both for the person you’re checking in on and for your own mental health. For the person you’re checking in on, it can help them feel supported, validated, and less alone. Regular check-ins can also help them feel more comfortable talking about their feelings and seeking help when they need it.
For your own mental health, checking in on others can help you feel more connected to your community and can give you a sense of purpose and fulfillment.
How to Make Checking In A Habit
If you want to make checking in on others a habit, there are a few things you can do. Firstly, make a commitment to check in on someone regularly, whether it’s a friend, family member, or colleague. Set a reminder in your calendar or make a note in your to-do list to ensure that you follow through.
You also need to take care of your own personal mental health, because you need to be mentally strong and healthy so you can be a support shoulder for others.
Conclusion: The power of a simple question
Asking someone if they are okay may seem like a small gesture, but it can have a significant impact on someone’s mental health and well-being. By approaching the conversation with empathy and understanding, you can offer support to those who may be struggling and help break down the stigma surrounding mental health.
Making checking in on others a habit can also have a positive impact on your own mental health, and can help you develop your communication and empathy skills.
If you ever see someone struggling and acting abnormally. Don’t need to be afraid to ask. Always ask “Are you okay?” you literally don’t predict the actual difference between these simple acts.
If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health issues, please reach out for support. You are not alone, and there is help available.