How Are You?
“Please don’t ask me how I am if you’re not really interested in knowing.”
I remember reading this tweet from an account years ago and it changed me!
The gist of it was how those three words in question form, from one person to another, could be the lifeline someone needs. Therefore, they are not words to be said lightly, but with care.
Ideally, when you ask that question, it can be seen as an invitation for someone to be open and vulnerable; a sign that you are a safe space, genuinely interested in their wellbeing.
So, if you’re just asking because you think it’s the politically-correct thing to do, and someone takes it as a life line that you actually care, so they decide to open up. But because you were not being intentional, you end up not honouring their response by being rush in your response or worse, silence.
What you have done in that moment is actually hurt that person, doubly.
Vulnerability is not the easiest thing. So don’t act like you care if you really don’t.
It was a tweet that made me more intentional with the people in my life.
As someone who struggles with being vulnerable, I understand the pain of opening up only to realise that was not a safe space for you to do so.
Do unto others as you would like it be done unto you.
Words I purpose to live by.
I don’t always get it right, however, the intention is always there.
So, I purposed to never ask someone, “how are you?” if I genuinely didn’t care to know.
And not caring to know could mean just that, or it could mean I’m not in a space to actually show up for someone if they were to answer me.
I’ll there start a conversation with, “I hope you’re keeping well.” Or, “I hope all is well with you.”
Those are statements. Someone can respond with a yes or no.
If it’s a no and I know I’m not interested to know the why, I’ll respond with, “Sending you hugs and positivity.” Or, “I hope things get better soonest.”
Again, I have been kind without putting both of us in a tricky situation. I am kinda creating boundaries by my responses that I do not want to go any further with this topic.
Other than people who are just self-absorbed, anyone else will get the message and keep it moving.
I know. It sounds cold. Because if we are texting it means there’s a level of intimacy there, right?
That does not mean I have to always be available. And that’s just the truth — it may sting, but you’ll definitely be grateful for ot rather than opening up and being met with silence.
We need more honesty in our interactions instead of pretence.
With honesty, you know where things stand and that’s always a good thing.
What’s the point of “feeling good” without actually doing good?
People’s hearts and feelings are fragile and important and should always be handled with care.
So don’t mess with them unless you’re actually intentional about protecting them.
Don’t ask if you don’t really want to know.
The flip side of it is when someone asks me, “how are you?” My response is usually, “Do you really want to know?”
It is a way to protect my heart and my feelings because piring your heart to the wring person could end up hurting you all over again.
When you open up and you’re not received with open arms and care, it may end up feeling like rejection. You’ve just added another layer of things to deal with.
No one wants or needs that.
What am I saying?
- We need to be intentional with each other.
- We need to learn to be honest with one another.
- We need to learn to set and acknowledge boundaries.
- Last but not least, don’t ask if you don’t really care.
We would have much happier relationships if we respected each other enough to be honest with each other.