With everything that’s going on, it seems as though checking in on others is more important now than ever. There are a lot of emotions that people might be experiencing right now that they do not know how to articulate, but just knowing that someone cares enough to reach out to them might just be the catalyst that makes all the difference.
Some ways to show your support and check in with friends and family members:
- Ask open ended questions - these are the questions that start with “who, what, where, when, why, how?” instead of “do, are, is, can”. The open-ended questions allow the other person to explain how they’re feeling without having to use a yes or no answer. Answering open-ended questions helps with exploration and gives the other person the ability to use their own words. When we ask open-ended questions, we are able to hear from others in a way that does not impose our own thoughts or feelings on them. An example of an open-ended question would be, “How are you doing?” An example of a closed-ended question would be, “Are you okay?”
- When checking in on others, it is important that we accept that people may handle things differently than us. Knowing that reactions might differ from how we’re experiencing life right now will serve as a helpful guide in keeping open communication with others. It’s okay to have different opinions and it is also really helpful to try and catch yourself if you start to feel yourself arguing your own reality, instead of listening. In the midst of all the chaos, sometimes it is best to listen…it might be surprising what you end up learning!
Submitted by Annie Newman and Joelle Prevost, Senior School Counsellors