“HOW ARE YOU?” I dislike that question. It’s trite and mostly a meaningless nicety.
Does anyone really want an honest answer?
When I’ve failed to respond with the expected “good,” eyes shift downward, feet fidget, uncomfortableness wedges in.
What if I’m not good? What if life isn’t great and fine and wonderful? Then what?
I will tell you I’m OK. And, if you’re listening, you may pause. Worry may fleet across your face. But, if you’re like most people, you won’t push. You’ll walk away.
Recently I told a friend I didn’t like the “How are you?” question. So now, whenever we see each other, she says, “It’s good to see you.” I like that. Those words are warm and welcoming and, because I know my friend, genuine.
Perhaps we all ought to try being a little more genuine with one another. Caring beyond casual surface conversation. Picking up on cues that maybe everything isn’t alright. And then, listening. Really listening.
If you ask the question “How are you?”, ask because you truly care. Not just to make polite conversation.
© Copyright 2016 Audrey Kletscher Helbling