Are You Languishing or Dormant (or something else)?
Last month my computer needed an urgent repair, and today - one month later - I'm still waiting for the parts to reach the repair shop. Fortunately, my old computer is holding up well.
This puts me in mind of an interesting discussion taking place in the online "rooms" where I hang out. It's about our current global state of "waiting for repairs."
Have You Seen the Languishing Article?
One of my favorite organizational psychologists is Dr. Adam Grant at Wharton. A few days ago he put out this excellent new York Times article: There’s a Name for the Blah You’re Feeling: It’s Called Languishing.
In it, Grant builds on the work of sociologist Corey Keyes to explain languishing - the "middle child of mental health" - the space between depression and flourishing. He explains how to recognize languishing so that we can proactively combat its detrimental effects on mental health when we see it in ourselves and others.
Grant's article is getting a lot of well-deserved attention, and it's generating a lot of important discussion about wellbeing. It is certainly important to be clear about how we're doing and take steps to bolster and buffer ourselves when we're not doing well.
Here's an Interesting Counter-Perspective
The Grant article is also causing a lot of people to become concerned that they - and everybody else they know - is languishing and therefore at risk. Some probably are. And some probably aren't.
I've come across this fascinating response from author Austin Kleon called I'm Not Languishing, I'm Dormant.
He cautions us against assuming that simply because we - or others we care about - are not currently depressed or thriving, we must be languishing and therefore living on a slippery slope to poor mental health.
He suggests that instead we may simply be "waiting to be activated" like a dormant plant or volcano - and that this is a wise and self-preserving choice.
👉 How About You?
I hope you can take a moment to skim both articles and glean what you can from them.
Once you do, I encourage you to consider how you might describe your current state - depressed? flourishing? languishing? dormant? or something else?
Both articles make great suggestions for self-care and perspective while we all carry on "waiting for repairs."
I hope to be writing to you next month from my newly repaired computer. Until then - I'm sending my positive thoughts and wellbeing wishes for you, your school communities, your family and friends!
Feel free to send me a chat message anytime (at the bottom of the screen) - or we can connect on LinkedIn.
About the Author
Kristin Lowe is a former international school teacher who now works as an organizational psychologist and positive psychology coach.
Kristin’s work centers around helping international school communities cultivate what is best within themselves and leverage these strengths to support our next generation of changemakers.
You can read more about Kristin’s background and qualifications here.