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U OK HUN?
We have the same conversation with our customers day in, day out. The customer walks in the door, you welcome them in with their pooch in tow with a big smile and say hello and they say “Hi, How are you?”
You smile and say “I’m fine thanks, and you?”
But are you? Are you fine? Are you ok? Sure? We seem to automatically have these answers programmed into our brain when we get asked that question but do we ever actually think about that question and what it actually means and would we ever actually answer honestly?
As brits we are obsessed with manners, being polite and portraying ourselves with a stiff upper lip. It’s reasonable to think about whether asking the question “are you ok?” warrants an honest response and whether we would be prepared to react if the answer was ‘No’
It’s fair to assume that meeting clients and acquaintances requires the standard ‘yes im fine’ response to an otherwise polite greeting, but it’s also important not to believe it if it’s actually not true. One of the main things to take into consideration is to ask yourself first. ‘Am I ok?’ ‘How am I feeling?’ and addressing your mental health if you’re not doing so well.
If you ask the question “U OK Hun?” make sure you’re prepared if the answer is “actually, no I’m not OK”
We use the phrase ‘mental health’ and seem to shy away, thinking that having mental health issues means having bipolar, depression, anxiety etc which of course it does, but it also means managing your stress levels, coping with tricky situations and feeling down for what may seem like no reason at all.
We get caught up in overusing the question ‘how are you?” and we can hope to get a more honest response just by asking someone how they are feeling instead. Follow it up with “are you sure?” and ensure you approach it with empathy. If someone is really struggling, sometimes all it takes is for someone to scratch below the surface for them to realise they can open up and it can have a huge impact on that persons day to day life.
Times are changing and with the #ITSOKNOTTOBEOK movement we could get women and more prominently men recognising when negative feelings need addressing.
So with all that being said I’m going to ask you… U OK hun? And I want you to think about whether you actually are.
If your feeling down and need some extra support make sure you visit your GP. You can also access some great self help websites such as Futurelearn here.
There are also websites where you can access online therapy for counselling sessions visit BetterHelp here.
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