No really, how are you doing?

While the majority of us recognize this iconic greeting from Joey Tribbiani, his go to line to “mack on chicks”, the truth is, we need this statement now more than ever, to really know, “how are you doing?”.

2020 has been a challenging year for everyone and circumstances have made it even more important for us all to stay connected and, for those who are able, be willing to support those around us. Mental health challenges are skyrocketing, unemployment is at an all time high, and the world is just fucking heavy right now. So, when we ask our brother, “how you doin?”, are you ready to listen? Can you make a conscious choice to really hear what’s going on? 

The biggest misconception is that you need to be an expert to keep the conversation going if someone says they aren’t doin’ that great. But truthfully, a few simple steps could make a huge difference in someone’s life. Here are 5 steps to take:

  1. Make sure you have the time needed to have a conversation.
  2. Understand that they might not be able, or willing, to talk, but the fact that you even offered to listen will help. A simple, “when you need someone, I am here”, could make all the difference. Even if they never take you up on it. 
  3. Understand you can’t “fix” someone’s problems, but by listening you provide a stage for them to process them.
  4. Encourage action, help them find trusted resources (like he.)
  5. If they are in danger of hurting themselves, be prepared to offer a suicide hotline number and encourage them to reach out. 
  6. Follow up if possible. Let them know they really aren’t alone.

So while we dig Joey and mean no disrespect, we’re just gonna take this to the next level.