Check-in with someone and just listen.
I’m concerned about us. I’m concerned about ya’ll. Today, I checked in on five people who were able to bring themselves to say, ‘I am struggling with my mental health right now.’ I am grateful that they know that I don’t see this as a weakness. Having struggled with depression and suicidal thoughts in my teens and adult life, I know how hard it is to make that admission.
If you know someone is struggling, check in please, not to offer advice, but to listen if they are willing to trust you with their deepest, darkest s**t.
Check-in, not to judge or offer what you think are meaningful platitudes, but to listen beneath the words to the feelings they are expressing and then let them keep talking.
Check-in and let them know that if they need to sit in silence or let the emotions flow, flow, flow, then you are here for all of it without needing to tell them how to fix it. Believe me, most of them are trying more than you know.
Check-in by sending a simple text or email or phone call or leave a voicemail. Something like:
I am here. No pressure.
Thinking about you.
You are on my heart.
I can listen, no judgments.
Any of these might encourage them or at least remind them that someone cares. Yes, they should already know that in your mind. But right now, in theirs, the conflicting thoughts say that nobody understands or cares.
Don’t take it personally if they don’t respond, reach back, or take you up on it. All of that requires effort and maybe that is too much to ask right now. But they will remember that you took the time to care.
I am deeply concerned about us folks and I need us to take the time to pull out those listening skills and use them.
And if you are the one struggling right now, I hope you read this and know that I care and that this is my way of reaching out to you and I pray that someone in your life reaches out to listen to you.
Just in case you think that you don’t know anyone who is struggling, I’m going to ask you to check in on five people this week that you know and offer to just listen.
Let’s be there for each other.