"It's sometimes the littlest things that leave the biggest impact." " aria-label="play video" class="modal-link story-detail__play"> "It's sometimes the littlest things that leave the biggest impact." Aswani Siwakoti on Be There "It's sometimes the littlest things that leave the biggest impact." " aria-label="play video">Play video Be There: Say What You See I've struggled with my mental health for the majority of my life. My struggles were so long-lasting that I came to know depression and anxiety as the norm with no reference point for comparison. Though I knew I was sad, I had an unhealthy relationship with my depression and even found comfort in it. Staying in on Friday nights, straying from social interactions, indulging in comfort foods – sounds a lot like ‘self care’, doesn’t it? Sounds pretty appealing if you ask me. But it was a cyclical routine and the more I stayed in bed, sheltered from the rest the world, the less I wanted to venture out and see the unexplored possibilities on the other side of my four walls. Towards the end of high school, I started to feel like I was missing out on life by staying in bed so often. I started forcing myself to make plans with friends, but anxiety always got the best of me and I frequently cancelled last minute. Others around me came to know me as someone who’s just a quiet introvert. If I ever did have anything to contribute to the conversation, people would say things like, “Oh, you actually talk!” This somehow made me feel worse and made me not want to talk again. This made me feel like people weren’t listening to what I was saying, but just listening to the fact that I was speaking. Framing your concerns without belittling others is important! Saying what you see can be difficult. We may feel like we’re crossing boundaries by asking questions. We may unintentionally make someone feel worse by putting them on the spot over matters that are sensitive to them, but not to us. More, some people are just naturally quiet even when they aren’t struggling, and it’s hard to spot the difference. Despite these difficulties, it doesn’t have to feel like walking on eggshells to Say What You See. A simple, “Hey, I’ve noticed you’ve been down lately, is everything alright?” leaves room for the recipient to decide whether or not they want to open up. Opening up is difficult, after all; it makes us feel vulnerable so it’s not surprising most people would instinctively say, “I’m fine.” Trust is a process, and it may take time to build. So if you are comfortable, maybe try opening up to them first. Saying what you see can be extremely helpful when phrased right because it allows the other person to know that you notice, that you care and that they can rely on you. It’s sometimes the littlest things that leave the biggest impact.