Who needs to hear your voice?
Who checks in with you?
Who do you check in with?
Who calls you after not hearing from you for 24 hours?
We may value quality time with our friends and loved ones. But unintentionally, we estrange ourselves from those closest to us. We seem to have too much of everything going on at once. We overschedule ourselves, creating distance between us and our connections, and remember our relationships, generally, when there is some type of crisis. There are many lonely people, and a recurring theme to their loneliness "I'm so busy."
Are you the person that runs into a friend at the store and repeats the sentences/statements below:
"Hey stranger, I haven't seen you in a long time; how have you been?"
"What have you been doing? I haven't seen you in such a long time?"
"We should definitely take some time to hang out."
"I changed phones and lost your number. What's your number again?"
"it's so sad we live in the same town and don't interact with each other."
"How are the kids doing?" (then proceed to guess the kids' age).
Being busy does not have to keep us apart when technology can bridge the gap between us. A text message, video chat, a voice note, or a phone call can shorten the distance between us. Send more than a meme or a viral video. Send something thoughtful; an emoji doesn't accurately tell how you are doing.
This verse from Chronixx's song "Tell Me Now" speaks volumes:
"If you love me Better you tell me now Don't bother wait til later When mi gone you ah scatter roses All ah mi friend dem weh pass and gone Memories in my heart But for those who are here right now Mi haffi tell you say mi love you."
One of the most human things we do is communicate with each other. We share laughter, successes, disappointments, and sometimes we find a reason to be mad at each other. The way we mend our broken connections with each other is through communication. We use communication to modify feelings, motivate, and empower others at their lowest moments. Yet, something so essential ends up being overlooked.
In extreme cases, we are present but haven't really checked in to what is happening around us and with the people in our lives. We seem to just meander through life with little or no realization that being present and checking in with those in our world is intertwined. We confuse checking in with persuading others, giving and providing advice. Often it is not necessarily the people around us who have changed. It's the distance we've created between the people in our lives and us. Assess your routines and check into being aware of the people around you.
Check-ins are a great way to have a lively conversation with friends and loved ones.
During the check-in, don't monopolize the conversation and make it about you.
It is not an opportunity for you to vent but a moment to reconnect.
Take the chance to listen to the other person non-judgementally.
Share your undivided attention, use your spoken words to uplift and affirm.
Be sure not to problematize the check-in.
Ask engaging questions and not the generic how are you doing?
How are you doing? Typically yields the answer, I'm good and you … Although it is meant to be an open-ended question, the response is limited and routine. Another question that yields little in response is how your day was? Instead, use the variation tell me about your day or share the best part of your day with me?
Check-ins are a healthy way to maintain and build healthy relationships. Check-in shouldn't wait for when you have time.
Stay Naturally Curious