I started to add a daily coping tip to the SQLServerCentral newsletter and to the Community Circle, which is helping me deal with the issues in the world. I’m adding my responses for each day here. All my coping tips are under this tag.
Today’s tip is to ask someone how they feel and really listen to their reply.
We’ve always had a lot of small talk or chitchat in American society. We say “how are you” not really looking for anything other than a “good” or “tired” or something simple. Not a detailed answer and many people don’t listen to the reply in depth.
A few years ago I decided that those interactions happen a lot, and I can’t get away from them, but I can listen more. Perhaps more importantly, I can take a few minutes with a few people, and really engage more directly.
I have continued to try and do that. I saw a friend recently at the ranch. I was busy, needing to get something done, but I hadn’t seen this person in awhile, so I stopped and just listened to them. Despite feeling pressed for time and a little put off, I focused on the conversation and went back and forth with them for a few minutes.
Ultimately, they looked more relaxed and glad that they had been able to unload on me a bit about life and the challenges under this mostly lifted, but still slightly weird pandemic life. I realized this was really 6 minutes, and didn’t affect my day that much.
A little patience was good for them, helped me learn to slow down a bit, and I got to reconnect with someone that I hadn’t seen in awhile.