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Movember update: 1 major don’t (ironically) and do for helping depression and anxiety.

Posted on 15 Nov 2013 in Not For Profit, Story, Storytelling | Comments Off on Movember update: 1 major don’t (ironically) and do for helping depression and anxiety.

Lam Tang with a Movember moustache making a really weird face.

Lam Tang’s Movember progress.

I made a suicidal situation even worse.

Even with really good intentions.

A friend had a grad school colleague take his own life, leaving behind his wife and two children. She confided her hurt and her massive whys to me.

And I provided the perfectly wrong response.

What it was: a cogent explanation of why it happened.

I can’t remember the exact words for my brilliant explanation, just that my friend simply fled.

No fewer tears.
I’d in fact added flushed rage to her already weighty sorrow.

The major don’t

I’ve since learned a single ironic nugget for hearing your friends’ pain: as much as they may seem to be an asking for a solution, the helpful solution of our logical brains is rarely the most helpful thing we can provide as the truest heart (of the problem, and the friend) solution.

The major do

The alternative: most of the time it starts (and very likely continues and ends) with listening.
 There’s an overall dearth in true listening.
I know this.
Yet I still fall into not truly listening.
Ask my wife.
Just listen.
Buy yourself the opportunity to listen: a long coffee, a lunch… Then focus on listening.
Only talk to draw out more to listen to, or to repaint what you see as the picture.
One thing that sometimes bears fruit is a cogent solution. Not from me, but from the friend I’m listening to. And it’s wonderful when solutions are drawn out by the “problem-owners” themselves.
Listening. According to a recent GoodMenProject article, it could save a dude’s life.
Which is a big reason why I offer this as a simple Mental Health moment to mark the beginning of Movember‘s 2nd half. As mentioned previously, I’m focusing on the Mental Health aspects of Movember this year.
I’d love it if you support the mo’vement. You can contribute to my 2013 campaign but if you’re plugging in elsewhere, I’m also grateful.
I’m ending this with a quick note on the Mo’ itself.
I’d promised a Freudian Mo’ to some friends. Leaving the soul patch was my best way to do that (thought about doing the beard but it’s against Movember rules… and actually makes sense: when I leave a beard, it just looks like I haven’t shaved).
So I hope you got something out of my post, or my Mo (?)… or both!


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Lam Tang, Principal, ThatGuyWriting Brand Consultancy