We often talk about checking in with yourself and checking up with your loved ones, but when vulnerability doesn’t come easy, you might revert to responding with “I’m fine,” whether or not you are.
Checking up on your friends and family can be an important way to show them that you’re there for them and that you’re thinking about them. It’s not just something to do when your loved ones are experiencing rough times, but it’s a good habit to have to help strengthen your connection.
However, while calling up the homies and asking “what’s good?” is a habit that you might be getting into more, being on the receiving end of that question isn’t always easy. So here’s a guide to help you respond to a loved one checking in.
Good News, Bad News
You can try to think of a “good” thing to share that you’ve experienced recently, and then something that might not have been so great.
Sometimes saying the thing out loud can, in part, help you process it or might allow you to see a different perspective of it.
While it’s good to express yourself, sometimes you might no be fully ready to share how you feel or where you’re at mentally.
Share only as much as your comfortable with at the moment and then segway to something else. You might also let your loved ones know that you feel XYZ but are not in the space to get into it.
Two Way Street
Opening up goes both ways. Share how you’re feeling or something you’re experiencing at work or in your personal life with your loved one.
In turn, ask how they are doing. While your friend or relative may have called or texted you to hear how you’re doing, they may also be going through something themselves and inadvertently reaching out.
The truth is, sometimes you don’t know how you’re doing. When you haven’t checked in with yourself for a while, you can feel a little out of touch with yourself and your emotions.
Be honest in telling your friend when you don’t know how you’re feeling and maybe how their question has brought this to your immediate attention. Then proceed to take some time to take personal stock.
“If you do not trust someone who is asking you to share or you are feeling that they may have ulterior motives for getting you to open up, politely state that it is not a good time for you.”Charmain Jackman, Ph.D., a psychologist, told “Bustle.”
While honesty is typically the best policy, be discerning when it feels like someone checks in on you with ulterior motives.