Extreme Welfare Checking (and how best to avoid it)

29 Oct

I awoke the other morning to word someone had called the police on a beloved friend of the manor.  Admittedly I have called her a strumpet on the odd occasion, but generally she is quite a decent sort. I was a tad perplexed, but quietly a little proud that she may have engaged in a little end of week hell raising.  Instead, it was revealed that her phone died and one of her staff went from a confused eye-brow raise to panic the old tart might have gotten tangled in a feather boa, or tripped in the vegie patch. So she called the police to do a welfare check on her.

Thankfully she hadn’t gotten tangled in a feather boa and left to perish.  Instead, her phone battery had died and she hadn’t bothered to recharge it immediately.  I’m pretty sure she’s quickly developed a bit of paranoia about charging her phone because she was utterly embarrassed by the event.

But what if she had been tangled?  We’d never know if her staff member hadn’t engaged in a bit of extreme welfare checking.  And although the visual is actually really quite funny, it does bring to light the importance on checking-in on your people.  Before you end up in a flurry of concern that triggers you to call the police.

A little while ago, we had R U Ok Day in these parts.  The idea behind it is to rally the fair people of Australia to get on board with checking in on the folks in their web.  I very much dig this concept.  This means asking and actually listening; with your ears and your eyes. Because ‘fine thanks’ is often paired with a body so tired you’re not actually sure how the person is standing up.  But hey… they said fine right?

It means making an effort to make sure that your people aren’t trying to placate you with a ‘yep fine thanks’.  Because we are all often quite lovely and don’t want to worry each other.  Before we know it, we have been ‘fine thanks’ for so long that when we do find we need that bit of extra attention it is more awkward to ask for it. A lot of the time it is just nice to have someone simply acknowledge that you are having a day so shit that not even the nicest cup of tea and ginger snap could fix.

On the flip side of this of course is that onus is on us to be up front when the ginger snap won’t cut it. Just as it takes two to tango, being okay is a team effort. As sweet as it would be for everyone to have secret mood reading super powers, most of us are caught up in our own nonsense that we miss key signs.  It does not mean we don’t adore each other deep, deep down.   So if you are feeling flat, stressed, tired or inexplicably irritated – say so.  Sure, the person in front of you might not know how to react, but at least you’ve:

a) given them a chance
b) acknowledged to yourself what’s niggling
c) opened yourself up to the bonus of being honest about feeling off kilter – being able to genuinely appreciate feeling so fantastic we want to hug everything.

Maybe extreme welfare checking is your thing, but I can assure you that most people don’t enjoy having the police on their doorstep at 10pm on a Thursday evening.  Trust me that it is less embarrassing for everyone to engage in smaller, more regular check-ins with the people in your web: family, friends, even the lady who sells you your 3pm sugar hit every day.

Watch out for your web.  Watch out for yourself.  Keep it honest. Hug things.  Tread carefully with feather boas.

Yours in nonsense,

Sir Flamingo xo

4 Responses to “Extreme Welfare Checking (and how best to avoid it)”


  1. Love Rush Sunday « sirflamingo - October 30, 2011

    […] about new directions :. many, many head massages:. news that drove home the importance of checking in on your people:. vintage jewellery:. huge gifts:. synchronicity:. laughter:. Energies 2011 at the Arts Centre […]

  2. I resisted the Cosmos & got a rash. « sirflamingo - December 3, 2011

    […] now relocated to another guest room of a dear friend (which is quite fortuitous, as she’s on feather boa watch).  The nasty rash is now clearing thank goodness, and I’ve had time to contemplate this […]

  3. Why adoring Monday translates into fist bumping cells « Sir Flamingo - March 19, 2012

    […] sporting a killer sore throat 1  day of a headache that just won’t leave 4 people today who asked if you were okay 26 bruises we had this past year but could not explain 14 hours a day we’re needing to be […]

  4. I thought we had something special… « - July 12, 2012

    […] must say I’m rather glad that people haven’t felt the need to bump their queries up to extreme welfare checking, because that is generally awkward for everyone.  And no one wants that, so I’m checking in […]

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