R U OK? A Rant About Why This Is An Important Question But Shouldn’t Be Asked By Some People

Today is September 8 – R U Ok? Day.

For those of you that may not have heard about it, it’s a day for recognition, conversation understanding, and support. It’s a day for checking in with your friends, family, coworkers and asking the question ‘R U Ok?’. The concept is to generate a conversation with somebody who might actually not be okay, and prompt them to talk about what’s concerning them; what’s weighing them down; what’s making them feel sad etc.

It’s by facilitating this conversation that somebody might have a better opportunity for ‘opening up’ rather than continue suffering in silence and keeping their problem(s) to themselves, in turn creating more issues.

Whilst I think it’s good to create a national campaign and a social ‘movement’, I don’t think it’s something that should be predominantly advertised and spoken about on just one day. It’s a conversation starter that should be had on a regular basis, well, providing you’re a decent human being who actually gives a shit about other people. And no, asking somebody if they are okay, before commenting on their hairstyle or fashion choices doesn’t count.


Browsing social media today, all I saw were posts about it. Images like the one above and all these people on my feed were making comments about ‘asking the question’ and ‘having the conversation’; linking to the RUOK website, and using #as #many #hashtags #as #possible, because #socialmedia.

But there was one post I saw that really struck a nerve, and it went along the lines of:

‘R U Ok?’

‘Well, actually, no I’m really not, I’ve been feeling…’

‘Okay my work here is done’

‘But I haven’t even told you what’s wrong’

And I realised that there were actually a number of people making posts about this day, that immediately fall into that particular category. The people who want to portray an image of being socially / morally responsible and caring etc, but really just do it to look good and ensure they get enough likes for their own validation and self worth. They are the sort of people that ask the question without any actual interest or concern in how the other person is feeling (when sometimes I think they are the ones who should be asked the question… ‘R U OK? I’ve noticed that you’re constantly concerned with how many selfies you’re posting on Instagram, and I’m concerned that you have absolutely zero self worth, and instead are trying to find self worth and validation from countless numbers of absolute strangers on the internet… ‘

Millennials and social media narcissists… I’m look at you!

Personally speaking, I’ve also found that a number of the people publishing these posts are also the people with the biggest gossipy mouths, so are automatically the WORST people to be having such sensitive conversations with, because that then works to their advantage within their social circles, and gives them plenty of gossipy ammunition with which to talk about you behind your back.

And for anybody that has previously, or is currently, going through a tough time, having people talking and gossiping about you behind your back is only going to make things worse.

Let’s pause for a moment. Could this sense of hostility possibly be coming from previous personal experience? Perhaps? 

Could it be based on observation of actual human behaviour within certain social circles? Absolutely.

Do I perhaps have trust issues with people from previous experiences? Undeniably.

Could this be making me sound quite biased? Shut up – nobody asked you!

To avoid any confusion moving forward, I’ll openly admit that I don’t currently classify myself as okay.

I M NT OK. 😕😩😞

#HotMess #WhereDoIBegin #WhatIsWrongWithMe #Numb #DeadInside

So there I am, sitting at my desk watching these posts pass through my newsfeed and each person that mentioned RUOK? I asked myself whether I could (a) comfortably open up to them about what is on my mind, (b) could I actually trust them enough to have a REAL in depth conversation with me about what’s wrong, or (c) would they just pass the buck and be like gurl, you just need to go see a #shrink or something, because you are #BatshitCrazy which completely defeats the purpose of the whole concept.

I’m not denying that there aren’t people in my life that I could open up to, but I’m not entirely sure I could trust them with the information that I would be divulging. Should I maybe go see a professional instead? Absolutely. However, that shit is ridiculously expensive, and it’s a luxury I simply cannot afford right now.

I, for one, can confidently say that if I ask you if you’re okay, I’m genuinely concerned about your response. I care about your wellbeing. Even if we might not necessarily be close friends. Sometimes you mind find it’s actually easier to speak to somebody outside you’re social circle, or working environment / industry, to be able to listen to what you have to say, and then be unbiased about it. Sometimes we need somebody to play Devil’s Advocate. Sometimes it’s easier to open up to a stranger. If you ever feel like something has got you down, I’ll always make time to hear you out and provide support, and know that whatever is said between us will remain between us. Shoot me a message and I’ll organise a time to talk!

I care about those suffering from mental illness. As somebody diagnosed with Depression and Anxiety, I completely understand anybody who says they’re having a rough time, or they’re feeling depressed or sad etc. I sympathise because I’ve been there. I’ve hung out with the Black Dog a number of times before, and am currently hanging out with him.

For anybody that is serious about asking somebody R U OK?, I would highly recommend watching this video before hand to be more consciously aware of what you could potentially be getting yourself into. Having somebody trust you enough to really open up for you is more than just unwrapping a bandage and showing you a wound; it’s breaking the stitches and cutting through the scar tissue to really get into it in depth. This is something that makes the person feel extremely vulnerable; baring their soul. For the person asking, it can become an extremely uncomfortable and confronting position to be in so I would suggest you make sure that you’re committed and ready enough to ask the question, because it’s so much more than just asking the question. It can open a can of worms and show you a completely different side of somebody that you never thought existed, but they need to know that you’re there to support them no matter what.

We all need to feel supported, especially at our most vulnerable.

So please don’t just let RUOK? be a question reserved for one day of the year. Don’t let it be the reason you’re trying to get attention and likes on social media. Ask the question on a regular basis, but actually mean it when you ask. Pay more attention to the people around you, and if you notice a change in behaviour, don’t ignore it. Confront it.

It could be nothing. Or it could be something .

It could change a life. But not asking could cost a life.

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Daily Prompt – Counting Voices

A lively group discussion, an intimate tête-à-tête, an inner monologue — in your view, when it comes to a good conversation, what’s the ideal number of people?

I’ve somehow become socially retarded, and weird, and don’t really function too well in social settings, so the concept of being involved in a conversation just makes me feel uncomfortable.

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Daily Prompt – Litmus, Litmus on the Wall

If you had to come up with one question, the answer to which would determine whether or not you could be friends with a person you’ve just met, what would it be? What would the right answer be?

It’s hard sometimes being so judgemental.

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Daily Prompt – Head Turners

We often hear strange snippets of conversation as we walk through public spaces. When was the last time you overheard something so interesting, ridiculous, or disturbing you really wanted to know what it was all about?

When you catch public transport everyday like I do, then you’ll be all too familiar with those people who talk loud enough to make sure everybody else around them can hear what is being said. I fucking hate those people. Continue reading

Daily Prompt – Matters of Taste

When was the last time a movie, a book, or a television show left you cold despite all your friends (and/or all the critics) raving about it? What was it that made you go against the critical consensus?

GAME. OF. FUCKING. THRONES!!!

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Daily Prompt – Break The Silence

When was the last time you really wanted (or needed) to say something, but kept quiet? Write a post about what you should’ve said.

I have this struggle almost on a daily basis. Because otherwise I’ll fucking explode and possibly end up getting fired.
Continue reading

Apr 18: So Much Guilt

Talk about a time when you’ve felt a lot of guilt.

Why is it that lately I’m starting to feel more guilty because I’m choosing not to be completely honest about some of the major instances from my life, instead, opting to share only those that I actually feel comfortable sharing?? It’s because of these damn prompts!

On that note, allow me to focus on something that I’ve actually felt guilty about for a while now… telling my brother that he’s adopted.

My brother is five years younger than I am, and when we were younger, I began to tell him that he was adopted. It was usually mentioned whenever he and I were fighting, or when people were commenting on how completely different we are – and I’m talking complete opposites! So I’d make snide comments about the reason we’re so different is because he’s adopted, and he would get so incredibly upset and just start bawling, ‘SHUT UP, SHUT UP!! I’M NOT ADOPTED! YOU’RE LYING!! YOU’RE SO MEAN TO ME’, and that was the sign that I’d taken it to far. I’d try and apologise to him, but it’s hard to try and apologise to somebody and come across as being sincere when you’re trying to stop laughing long enough to get an actual sentence out.

In all fairness though, even my mother would have a little giggle whenever my brother would run off crying because of me being such a bastard! Granted, it wasn’t every time, but she did laugh, so I’m not the only one here to blame. I think she can take some of the responsibility as well.

Since moving to Melbourne, my brother and I pretty much lost touch with each other. I kind of know what he’s up to through Facebook, but other than that, we don’t reach out to contact each other. It’s something that actually makes me feel quite bad, that I have somebody like my own brother, and yet, I don’t really know anything about him, because we never speak. He literally is the complete opposite of me – we have absolutely nothing in common except our parents, and even then, I only acknowledge having one parent. I refer to mum’s ex-husband as ‘my brother’s father’ for a multitude of reasons, but my brother keeps in regular contact with his father, and his father’s side of the family, whereas I have purposefully ex-communicated myself from all of them, and I’ve never been happier.

I feel guilty that my brother and I have nothing in common. I feel guilty that we don’t speak. I feel guilty that we never see each other. The last time I saw my brother was two years ago when I had to fly interstate for a few hours for my grandmothers funeral. Before that, we hadn’t seen each other for a few years. Now we live at completely opposite ends of the east coast of Australia. I want to be able to even just Skype with him and his, now, fiancee, but even then I just struggle to comprehend how that conversation would go. He’s never been able to have a conversation with anybody. Like, NEVER. He would go and visit his father during school holidays and I’d speak to him when mum called, and all you would ever get out of him were one-worded answers. ‘Yep. Fine. Good. Nope. Alright. Hot. Yep. I think so. Maybe. Not yet. Yep. Yep. Nup. Yep. I guess so.’ It was just a constant string of questions. He was never forthcoming with information, and would never actually go into detail. You’d ask him how his trip up there was. Good. What did you do on the train? Nothing. Did you play your gameboy? Yep. Which games did you play? Dunno. Did you play Mario Brothers? Yep. What level did you get up to? Dunno?

So by this stage, I’m ready to start bashing my head against the wall. Even two years ago when he picked me up from the airport, after not seeing each other for I-don’t-even-know how many years, it was still the exact same conversation. Everything was a question, and I only got the same simple answers. Knowing that I’d have a 30-40minute drive of this was enough to make me want to just turn around and come home again. It was just painful.

I don’t know what he’s like with Mum, or even his fiancee, but even the couple of times I’ve spoken to her, she was pretty much the same… although she was at least able to construct a sentence and elaborate a lot better than my brother seems to be able to.

Hmmm, perhaps I should change that, and see if they have Skype? Make a positive change, and put have more of an interaction with my brother?

Speaking of which… I still haven’t received a wedding invitation…!! I guess that speaks volumes. Ironic, really.

Perhaps this is the payback for all those years of tormenting him and saying he was adopted?

Daily Prompt – Why Can’t We Be Friends?

Do you find it easy to make new friends? Tell us how you’ve mastered the art of befriending a new person.

If we’re talking about people who share similar interests, personality and sense of humour, then yes it’s naturally easier to make friends with those people. Everybody else, however, is a completely different, awkward and uncomfortable story.

Being somebody who, over the years, has become increasingly awkward at the art of conversation, I really struggle in social situations, to the point where it’s almost becomes just too overwhelming and I need to leave, and therefore avoid any future situations like the plague.

I can’t do it. I just cannot do it. I really struggle to have a conversation with somebody I’ve just met because there’s always that awkwardness between the two of you as you navigate through the conversation trying to find some kind of common middle ground on something you can both relate to. My problem with that is that even with people I already know or have shared interests with, I still struggle to engage in conversation with them.

Many people have told me that they see me as the complete opposite – suggesting that they see me as being quite bubbly; forward; engaging; interacting etc but I think that is the result of my work. I have to be like that, but in saying that, when I do interact with people in that capacity it is actually coming from a genuine place; an authentic place, rather than simply being fake and talking to people because I’m obligated to. I can’t do that; I can’t be that person.

Sometimes I feel like a bit of a contradiction: on one hand you have this person who is entertaining and engaging in the workplace, and on the other hand, that same person is also incredibly shy, reserved and awkward around other people – but I guess that’s only applicable in social settings surrounded by strangers.

Ugh, I’m just a mess.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/why-cant-we-be-friends/

Mar 25: Favourite Trait

What is your favourite personality trait that you possess?

These questions always leave me stumped.

Truth be told, I’m actually quite a humble person. I’m generally quiet and reserved, but I also have tendencies to be quite loud, neurotic and entertaining. As for what I think is my favourite personality trait… hmmm, that’s actually quite tough.

I think one of the things that I actually enjoy the most, is the way that I manage to make myself laugh quite regularly with how random my brain can be in terms of relating anything and everything to some kind of pop-culture reference. It’s something that I’ve written about in a couple of previous posts, but for those of you who are new to my blog, or are unaware of what I’m referring to, let me break it down for you.

Let’s say I’m having a conversation with somebody. One of us might say something, and something as simple as a word, or a phrase, will trigger something in my brain – some kind of quote, or song etc, which I then see / hear inside my head. Or, I’ll find myself using quotes or pop culture references whilst I’m having a conversation with somebody… however, what I keep forgetting is that pretty much most of the people I speak to don’t actually know what I’m referring to, or get the reference, and then I just end up looking like a dumbass.

…but even that sometimes causes me to just laugh at myself.