How do I start?
Below are some suggested conversation starters.
How are you? Be prepared for ‘fine’ or ‘good thanks’ and follow up with: How are you really?
You don’t seem yourself. Letting your friend or loved one know you have noticed they’re behaving differently shows you care. It’s important to let them know you’re concerned about them, not upset with them for behaving differently.
I’ve had a terrible week, how was yours? Sometimes it’s good to break the ice with the fact that life isn’t always great, and to show that you understand. Sharing some of the things you are struggling with can help start the conversation. Be careful not to make it all about you though.
Is everything okay at home/work/uni? Making the question specific can get the conversation started, but remember that it might not be one thing. It might be a combination of many things, or maybe nothing in particular – just a general feeling.