Tuesday 24 April 2018

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

John Masterson

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.

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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