RUOK? WHAT DO I DO WHEN THE ANSWER IS NO?
I’M NOT OK.
These words are so important. When you need help, acknowledgement is often the first step in the right direction. So if we’re going to encourage folks to ask those crucial words “ARE YOU OK?” we need to explore healthy ways to respond to the equally crucial words “NO I’M NOT.”
Here’s what our team at PROJECT ROCKIT came up with:
In our workplace, we got together to brainstorm helpful responses. The above flow captures different steps that have worked for each of us and our loved ones. This is not a simple one-size-fits-all approach to supporting people through tough times because each of us is different. One of the great things about diversity is that it encourages us to engage with the world from multiple perspectives.
We also thought it would be cool to offer some helpful versus unhelpful phrases in talking someone through tough times. For anyone out there who finds words galloping out of your mouth and yourself surprised about how NQR they sound, it could be a good idea to include a few pre-planned supportive statements in your toolkit.
You might not know what to say to somebody who is struggling, but you make sure they know you’re right there with them using active listening - show that you’re present, notice and reflect back their feelings, ask open questions and ask for clarification or summarise to validate their experience.
Great summarising phrases can be: “I’m hearing that you’re feeling ___”, or “It sounds like ___ is happening for you.”
And if you ARE ok today, try writing down what helps you in tough situations. Having that list ready to go can be comforting when things do go sour and provide healthy steps forward while you're not feeling rational 💛💛💛