What if instead of “how are you?”, we checked in with our loved ones by asking a more in depth question?
Perhaps the suggestions in the illustration don’t sit well with you. I challenge you however, to find one that feels right for you. Remember, there’s no pressure to have a therapeutic conversation where you instantly morph into a counsellor; it is simply opening the space and gently showing the other person that they can be heard and feel supported by you.
Some other openings could be:
“I know that things have been rough lately. Can you tell me about it?”
Or “I want to listen to you. Please tell me what’s been on your mind”.
I wonder what sort of conversations we could be having if we were to simply change the way we ask “how are you?”. What could we learn about one another?
More importantly, how would our loved one feel knowing that we were ready to listen and wanted more than a superficial answer? What kind of impact could this have on them? How would they view us as a supportive person in their lives, and how would it change the relationship?
I’m a lover of deep, complex, open, honest and supportive conversations. I plan on visualising this illustration when next talking to the loved ones in my life.
Credit to Keeley Shaw Art