Tuesday 18 April 2017

Behind The Smile

The key point made by Prince Harry is at the right time “Just have that conversation”

Hi, how are you? 

Great, fantastic, good, ok thanks – you? Smile…..

In western culture this is how most of us carry on when we see someone we know casually in the street, at work or maybe at an event. This is the accepted custom maybe with a handshake or the increasingly popular touch kissing or hug (often an awkward moment) although less seen at work.

This accepted behaviour acknowledges the other person in a non-threatening manner. It’s not normally intrusive but does demonstrate you have some value to them and they to you.

On the other hand being ignored is generally considered rude and hurtful. What’s wrong, have I upset them, arrogant ….ard, the feelings experienced are often out of context but this break in convention causes us to question why and makes us feel uncomfortable.

There may be many reasons, yes they could be ignorant but what have they got on their mind. What has happened to cause them to be like this, what is going on in their life to make them behave in this way?

In general we walk around and take part in society wearing a mask that is our acceptable face. This is non-threatening, not overly inviting but expected.
This is the way we rub along together – our social norm. However, the reality is that most people have worries, concerns, issues that they are dealing with. It could be an unresolved argument, money problems, relationship issues, illness and so on. Whilst the individual is coping with the problem then day to day life continues along its merry way but that all changes when our ability to cope is falling away.

This is the time when people’s behaviour changes. They may become introspective, moody, less communicative and slower. Some may go the other way to hide their emotions and become loud and extrovert to distract from their real world.

So what does this mean to me? Whether you are a parent, boss, friend, work colleague or just someone you say hello to when walking the dog most of us pick up feelings that something is not right. We pick up through our senses something is different – but not always and there lay a big problem, a very big problem.

What to do? It was at this point in writing this article I became stuck. Not because I didn’t have answers but I had too many but none were succinct, concise or broad enough. Then my writers block was spared following the Telegraph journalist, Bryony Gordon’s article following her podcast with Prince Harry. During the podcast Prince Harry shares how he hid away his feeling when his mother, Princess Diana, died some 20 years before.

The conversation covered many key areas related to dealing with past trauma and our resulting mental states that get in the way of us being able to lead happy and fulfilling lives. Recognising that regardless of where you are in society the affliction of mental illness is debilitating but can be managed and overcome and in many cases with education can be limited even avoided.

The key point made by Prince Harry is at the right time “Just have that conversation”

The need to share your thoughts feelings and worries is critical for your own wellbeing. If you have a broken arm it’s obvious to those around you – a broken mind often isn’t. 

These thoughts are to encourage openness to help people with real problems and concerns. This is not a “wingefest” nor are conversations to be had with those that like malicious gossip, don’t actually listen or are manipulative.

The temptation is to hide your bad feelings, keep your problems to yourself but there are many people who can help you. Trusted family and friends, teachers, doctors, counsellors and coaches.

So be aware of what is “Behind the Smile” and as Prince Harry has said in his interview with Bryony Gordon “Just have that conversation”.

Ian Marshall
Bringing your life to LIFE

As a life coach Ian specialises in helping people in middle years who find themselves at a crossroads in their life – sometimes over-whelmed, bored or simply lost, the colour has gone from their life. Helping individuals to find what it is that they really want in their life now and to explore pathways to achieve these new dreams. This is the point where Ian helps, helping people find the future they want and the happiness they deserve.www.mejma.com