"How are you doing?"
It's one of those statements that rolls off the tongue. It's to a point where we can ask someone how they are doing and predict the answer. But what happens when someone responds by saying, "Actually, I am not doing so well." Most individuals are caught off guard and not sure how to react. In reality, we were waiting for the cookie-cutter response that has no real meaning or value, the answer that allows one to continue with their day without making a real connection.
But why is it so hard to admit when we are not doing well? Is it because it's easier to go on about our day and ignore our feelings? Or because we think no one will care or understand? Maybe, it's the fear of being judged or appearing vulnerable by others. Whatever the reason, we have all won an Oscar for faking-the-funk.
Unfortunately, this world has created discomfort in being anything less than good, although we all can relate to a moment when we were not. I want to share a few simple things we can do to help reframe this mindset:
1. Only ask someone, "How are you?" If you are prepared to give a listening ear
Providing a listening ear does not mean solving their problems. It's about giving compassion and support
2. We all have times where we can do well with less small talk. In these moments, saying "Hi" is often enough. This allows for you to be polite, but removes the need to force an interaction that is not genuine.
Acknowledging a person and actively listening to their response can lift spirits, show empathy and, most of all, bring back that value of human kindness.
"Listening is an attitude of the heart, a genuine desire to be with another which both attracts and heals." ~ Sura Hart