|Seeing though the fog|
The three little words ‘How Are You’ have such a key part in helping everyone we encounter. We all use them on a daily basis and they have many levels of meaning, and the ability to be interpreted and answered in numerous ways.
‘How are you’? – can been a light, simple opening to a normal conversation as in ‘How are you ??’
Or it can be a specific question on your health, and lead to an in-depth explanation on your last doctors visit or your current bout of cold symptoms such as ‘How ARE you?’.
The other aspects can be seen as an inquiry after an emotional event such as a bereavement or change in relationship after a breakup. Mental health issues such as, stress, depression and loneliness can be encouraged into the conversation as well, with the simple use of open questions such as ‘How are YOU?’
'How are you' gives a large opening to discuss having to live in an unpleasant situation where you are being bullied or abused, where you have issues with your self-identity, your sexuality or gender is something that you are dealing with on a day-to-day basis.
However, when asked ‘How are you’, some individuals put a brave face on things and just gloss them over rather than take the opportunity to open up and share that part of their life.
So, taking the time to ask the question in a more open, personable way, emphasising the ‘you’ part, and guiding the answers to help find any root issues which may be something we can all do to help our friends and colleges as well as others we meet on our day to day lives.
Remember to be receptive to any answers to your question as we all need to be more open about our feelings and not to accept ‘one word answers’. Take the time to look deeper into the person and the reasons behind the responses given.
Over the last few months I have been part of the Enquest ‘Enclusion’ Diversity Team and have developed some small presentations which have been posted on the companywide social media sites, giving information on things like the Transgender Day of Remembrance, the importance of Gay Pride, and most recently the HIV/AIDS day.
Each of the presentations has made me sit down and review my thoughts on why we mark these occasions and how to support those who are affected by them and others in the diversity spectrum.
How are they coping ? Do they have support ? Are they isolated ? Can they share their feelings and raise personal issues?
By publicising and explaining these aspects of the LGBT+ and other areas of diversity, it was hoped that this may encourage people to have conversations with each other, to ask the difficult questions and try to see life from the others perspective.
I am lucky in that I work within a supportive team, with managers and co-workers who have good understanding of Transgender and what that means to me. However I am all too aware of many others who are not so fortunate, and have struggles on a daily basis at work and at home. These people may be putting a very brave face on things, but working hard to hold things together and would appreciate someone just to take time out to ask some simple open questions …
So, How Are You ….. ?
|There is always a rainbow|