The Most Beautiful Compliment
The context around this will follow shortly, but the most beautiful compliment I received from a past staff member was:
"You respected me regardless and you never treated me differently, you treated me well."
I am not perfect by any means, but I know what it is like to have ignorant comments made about my sensitivity and anxiety so this compliment meant everything to me.
Here is what has worked for me with past staff when checking in:
"How are you?"
"Is everything cool?"
"Did I unintentionally offend you, I am sorry, what can I do better next time?"
"Are you well?" - This is robotic and insensitive.
"Why are you so sensitive." - At this point, you're provoking someone into snapping.
If someone seemed like their energy was off: I would nicely suggest that they get a coffee or a snack (mini change of environment/ scenery/ sensory change).
There are things we just do not ask/ say regardless of what the underlying mental health concern is.
There is a way to show care that isn't invasive / over-familiar with no basis for it... and there is a way to inquire about how someone is doing that doesn't make that person feel treated differently (dignity 101).
I never once need to ask questions to my staff member about what was up, I simply responded in the moment to what I thought was going on with genuine non-invasive empathy and respected privacy (humanity/dignity).
You do not force your way into people's space and life and expect them to react to you with warmth. A counter productive thing. I also spent some time educating myself about mental health so that I never needed to rely on this person revealing more details than they were comfortable with.
Rare are the situations where more details are needed as dignity is innate. My role was to make work-related accommodations and do so without humiliation for them, scheduling in this case.
All of that being said, let's all continue to own our worth regardless of those who are uneducated on this and keep our heads held high so our Crowns do not slip.
As for the amazing people out there who "get" it and have experience with these things: thank you for existing. ❤️
Due to the people who are sensible and amazing, our "deficiencies" are superpowers in the right settings.