Checking In On Your Friends Is Not Enough

I wish I wrote this earlier in the day as now this seems to be a common and necessary theme on the internet. I am glad I am not the only one who has realized this.

By now anyone with an internet connection is aware that Stephan ‘tWitch’ Boss has killed himself. No conspiracies here. I remember seeing him on Ellen when flipping the channels during daytime television. But I am more familiar with him from the videos with his wife and kids on TikTok that took off during COVID. I love dancing videos and I love an adorable interracial couple. ❤ His smile was infectious. When anyone mentioned his name that is immediately what I thought of. So to say I was surprised to hear that he not only had died but had died at his own hands is a massive understatement. Once the shock left me, honestly, I was not surprised.

All that glistens is not gold.

Think of any celebrity that killed themselves. They most likely were wildly successful. From the outside, there was no reason for them to feel the way they were feeling – depressed, hopeless, and alone.

What started circling around the internet were various images and videos telling people to check on their (insert adjective here) friend.

Your strong friend.

Your quiet friend.

Your happy friend.

Your sad friend.

On the surface level that is great advice. Until I realized, that is not enough.

Your adjective friend probably has told you that they were feeling some kind of way. And what was your response? Did you tell them it would be okay? Did you call them strong? We’ve all done it.

When your adjective friend pulls back from activities do you eventually say, well fuck them, and let them pull away?

Do you see their smiling face and social media posts and never question it.

Do you ever ask your adjective friend if they are okay and expect a sincere answer?

The problem is not checking in with our friends and/or loved ones. The problem is creating a safe place for your friend/loved one to go to. Really be the listening ears. Be the shoulder to cry on if that is what they need. Laugh with them. Cry with them. Just be there.

A lot of times they are not looking for advice or your personal thoughts. They just want someone to listen. To sympathize with them. Let them know they are not alone. Acknowledge their feelings; they need to know they are not “crazy”.

So yes, at the end of the day, check on your friend but it takes a lot more than just checking in to let someone know that they are loved and cared for.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: