When you see a friend across the room and walk over to talk to them, invariably, the very first thing you will say to them is ‘You alright mate?’
It is at this point that we can immediately see why non-native English speakers can find the English language confusing and difficult to learn.
The exact meaning of ‘You alright mate?’ is to check the well-being and fitness of a friend. You are directly enquiring with them about their condition and implying that you would like to know the answer.
The English-native meaning of the phrase is more akin to something along the lines of ‘Oh I spotted you across the room, I wanted to come and say hello and to catch up on how we got drunk that one time in Bristol. But please do not talk about anything even remotely close to emotions.’
This is the perfect case study of the English male and how we do not deal with the really important things in life. We avoid the possibilities that we have emotions and that we might just need some help in getting through this difficult battle we call life.
It’s even worse at work, where to show any perceived weakness could be interpreted as failing. At least that is the impression we have created within ourselves. There are systems and programmes in place to help us out, but we don’t always want to ask for help.
We can sit at our desks and put on our masks to pretend that we are alright. We can answer every question with a positive answer and to let the world believe we are fit and healthy, even when we are on the brink of crashing. This mask is the worst thing we can build to cope with our mental health. It stops people helping us and it stops us accessing all of the available support.
There are times when you can call out for any support and any programme form work, but
your work colleagues just do not know how to react. The Human Resources department should step up and perform their duties, when they don’t then you need to call on Slater and Gordon to help you get the support and services you need.
We live in a world of social media, where people are more accustomed to sharing both their opinions and their feelings. This makes it more acceptable and more common for everyone to be able to talk about the things affecting them. #ImTalkingHealth is a great hashtag to follow and see what other people can offer to help you out. Or even what support you could give to someone else.
Sometimes it is the kind words of a complete stranger which can help out the most. Just to know that there is someone in the world, who is willing to help and offer support, even if they are over the other side of the world. The small differences we can all make soon add up to create a huge impact.