Monday 20 February 2017

Working it out: Forget Hi and Howya. Try H.e.l.l.o.

John Masterson

Published 15/06/2015 | 02:30

I recently had the good fortune to have a chat with two women from the Carlow Mental Health Association. They had come up with a very good idea which is simple and, I suspect, works. They are conscious that there is a lot of depression around, and that many people feel isolated. Their solution? Say Hello. But their 'Hello' has a little more to it. It is not the perfunctory Howya to which we all reply 'fine', even if we are not. Their Hello goes like this.

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It begins with the H. When you say hello, say it like you mean to have a conversation, however short. Ask some question that does not have a yes or no answer. Make it look like you have a little time and are not in a rush.

The E stands for Engage with the person. Be friendly. Make some eye contact. Already, I am aware of how rarely I do this in my normal everyday 'how are you' encounters.

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