NZ Rugby World
Sometimes we may notice that something is not quite right with a mate, loved one or even ourselves. In these times it’s important to be brave and have a conversation, because one person noticing can make a huge difference.
Starting a conversation is often the trickiest part.
Simply asking “are you doing OK?” or “how’ve things been going lately?” is a good start. Include some of the specific things you’ve noticed e.g. “you seem quieter than usual”, “I’ve noticed you missed a few trainings lately”. If they’re not keen to chat let them know you care and are there if they need a listening ear.
Often people will say that they’re OK when they’re not. If your gut feel is that something is wrong, ask again and share the specific things you’ve noticed.
Encourage them to think about what might help e.g. “What would help make things feel a little easier?”
It’s ok to say “I’m not sure what to say” if you aren’t. Just let them know that you’re not going anywhere and you’ll support them to find the help they need.
Remove any distractions and really listen to what they’re saying. Try using open ended questions like “what do you think happened for you to feel this way?” Or “that sounds really tough, can you tell me more about it?” Save any advice for later and avoid judging how they might be feeling.
‘Walking and talking’ can be a lot more comfortable for some people. Suggest going for a walk if they seem uneasy sitting still.
CHECK BACK IN
Lock in time to catch up again. Make sure you take responsibility to lock-in when you’ll catch up next, be specific about a day and time. Set your own reminder. Before you catch up next, set a reminder on your phone to text and check in on how they are.