I understood her feeling, and I know that when we look around, or when we're meeting people at parties, professionally, or following them on Facebook, it might seem as if most people are living picture perfect lives.
Having however been a coach and consultant for more than 15 years, I get invited behind the scene quite a lot, and I KNOW it's not like that. Even the most confident, outgoing, successful and smiling people can be struggling.
We might expect sadness, struggles, depressions or anxiety to look the picture below, but this article reveals that challenges have many faces. And someone close to us might need us right now.
But if sadness etc. have that many faces, how can we then tell who might actually need us?
Well, we might never be able catch them all. There will always be someone whom we cannot read - or whom we misread. But the good news is that we're all wired to connect. This means that we're all capable of empathy (all except a very few people). We're in possession of brain cells called "mirror neurons", and these mirror neurons enables us to “simulate” not just other people’s actions, but also the intentions and emotions behind those actions.
You don't even have to know, how to activate these mirror neurons to do so. When you see someone smile, for example, your mirror neurons for smiling fire up, too, creating a sensation in your own mind of the feeling associated with smiling, and you might even start to smile yourself.
It's the same with even small signs of sadness, worries or concern in a friend's face, voice or body language. Our mirror neurons act upon these small signals, and our body "simulate" those feelings in ourselves. If we're too busy, if we're not trained to listen to our own emotions or if we're not used to trust them, we might not really "hear the signs"
But if we slow down, and if we tone down the noise of our ongoing rational thoughts, we might very well be able to feel how the other person is feeling. That's why we say that emotions are contagious. The good ones as well as the bad ones.
Our emotions will not be as strong as the person we're mirroring, but a slight recognition might be enough to activate an urge to ask that person a very simple question like; "How are you doing?" - and if you're a really good friend, and you still feel as if you're only surfing on the surface, you might even stay put, and say as a really wonderful friend said to me once; "no Tina, I mean; How are you REALLY doing?".
Anyone you know who might need that question from you?