Every day, we all interact with many people. Whether we're talking to our co-workers, our friends, or even strangers, we exchange words and ideas. But how often do we take the time to really connect with the people around us? To have a conversation that goes beyond the small talk?
R U OK? Day is a national day of action, to encourage everyone to have conversations with those who may be struggling. R U OK? Day is a perfect opportunity for all of us to check in with the people in our lives and see how they're really doing.
R U OK? Day is about more than just asking someone if they're "okay." It's about taking the time to have a real conversation and truly connect with each other. It's an opportunity to show someone that you care about them and that you're there for them no matter what. And it's a chance to let someone know that they're not alone.
Why Conversation Matters
In today's fast-paced, digital world, it's easy to go through the motions without ever really stopping to connect with the people around us. We send emails and texts instead of talking face-to-face. We scroll through our social media feeds instead of striking up a conversation with the person sitting next to us.
But conversation matters. It's essential for our mental health and wellbeing. When we take the time to have conversations with the people in our lives, we build stronger relationships and create a support network that can help us through tough times. We also get better at problem-solving and decision-making, and we can learn new things from the people we talk to.
On R U OK? Day – and every day – let's make a commitment to have more meaningful conversations with the people in our lives. It could make all the difference for someone who is struggling silently.
Use these four steps and have a conversation that could change a life:
- Ask: Pick the right moment and ask R U OK? in a way that feels right for you. Mention changes you’ve noticed and that you’re concerned.
- Listen: Listen without judgement. Don’t rush or interrupt but encourage them to explain what’s going on for them.
- Encourage Action: Ask what they've done in the past that has helped. There might be something practical you can do, or you could help them access professional support.
- Check in: Stay in touch after the initial conversation. Check in to ask how they're feeling and if things have improved. Stay connected so they’ll know you’re there for them.
Actions you can take today to start the conversation:
- Make time for coffee or lunch with a colleague instead of working through your break;
- Ask your neighbours how they're doing when you see them out and about;
- Send a text or an email to check in on someone you haven't talked to in a while;
- Strike up a conversation with somebody new – you never know what you might have in common!
R U OK? Day is an important reminder that conversation matters – now more than ever. So this Thursday September 8th, let's take the time to ask R U OK?, listen without judgment, encourage action if needed, and check in down the track. A Conversation Can Change A Life – yours, or someone else's.