My really, really good friend asked me this question and I told her to ask me next month. I followed that up by letting her know that I was clueless about how I was doing!
Have you ever felt stumped when asked, “How are you?” If so, when does this feeling of being attacked by the question become a real burden for you to answer?
when asked the question there are varied responses that can be given. There is the obviously disingenuous “I’m fine” with a plastic smile.Or there is the terse “fine”, followed by a hasty retreat and my favorite to observe, the monologue of the perfect life, the wonderful things happening now, that have surpassed all previous expectations – but the words ring hallow. Hey, you’re doing too much, trying too hard!
It’s hard to give an honest response when things are not going too great – you don’t want to seem ungrateful for what has been good in the past, in case it happens again. Also, when you sense, in the bottom of your belly (a Jamaican thing), that the person asking the question doesn’t want a genuine response then you reach for the synthetic or superficial responses that everyone expects and will be satisfied with.
However, while you’re there congratulating yourself for following the script and responding as expected, remember that you are not only lying to those persons;you are also lying to yourself. Don’t spend your life being a Pinocchio. Be honest with yourself about your ups and downs, no matter how people expect you to respond.And also be honest when you are asked how you are doing.
P.S. To all those who ask the question, (addressing myself as well) if you don’t like the answer, remember you opened the door for a response; hopefully you can handle an honest one.