Thoughts

How are you?

Often we ask people we meet how they are. We are also asked how we are. Sometimes we say we hope they are well and we say the same.

Do we really want to know how they are? Do we wait for the answer or do we walk on assuming the answer is a simple “Fine!”? When we are asked, do we just give that usual “Fine!” also?

I have learned to wait for the answer when I ask a person how he/she is. I hope that I always manage to keep eye contact. I want the person to know that I truly want to know how he/she is. I make sure I smile, too, when I ask. Or some facial expression that goes with the words.

When I am asked, I don’t merely give the customary “I’m fine” response. When I am indeed fine, I say so but I give a bit more, whatever is current in my life. I want to share because I want to connect. I don’t want to keep my distance and be a stranger and say “I’m fine” especially if I’m not fine. When I am not fine, I say so but it isn’t a complaint. It is a statement and I follow it up with something bright and positive. I might say I am sure something good will come up and the day will get better. This way, I am truly connecting with another human being. If I’m not feeling particularly positive, I give my usual “C’est la vie!” or “Que sera sera!”. After all, we can’t all be positive at all time. We need to be real and authentic, too.

One day, I hope we all ask “How are you?” because we want to know and we wait for the answer. At the same time, I hope we all respond in a way that connects us to the other person.

Otherwise, let’s just not bother.

So, how are you all?

I am feeling good today. No anxiety. No stress. It’s a fabulous sunny winter’s day. It can only be made better by a round of golf or horseback riding… but no chance of that now. It’s almost midday. It’s still a lovely Friday and a public holiday here in South Africa.

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To all in South Africa: Happy Youth Day!

To y’all: Happy Friday! Have a marvelous weekend!

Inspired by my e-chat with a beautiful person and fellow writer, “Binx”, with whom I always truly connect despite our huge age gap. Thank you!

 

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18 thoughts on “How are you?

  1. It took me a long time to realise that whenever someone says โ€œHow are you ?โ€, or โ€œWhatโ€™s up ?โ€, perhaps โ€œWhatโ€™s going on ?โ€ โ€“ they do not always expect a response. I found myself dangling, in that awkward social space of not-sure-whether-to-reply-or-not many times. It is a qualitative, subjective assessment, improvised, on-the-fly โ€“ a social etiquette I am still learning to successfully navigate. Sometimes it is better to remain silent โ€“ if a conversation or in-depth interaction occurs, great; if not, life move on of itโ€™s own accord and quite naturally so.
    ๐Ÿ™‚
    Personally (assuming a response appears warranted in this context o.O) โ€“ I am goodโ€ฆ tired, but OK. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Mabuhay !
    ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re right. It’s become like a greeting that doesn’t seem to expect a response. I would sometimes say then just say Hello! Or good morning/afternoon/evening.
      Good, tired but ok… sounds like people are more alike than we realize. โ˜บ
      Thank you so much for visiting and for your comment. Much appreciated. Salamat! ๐Ÿค—

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Such a great reflection on our “how are you” communication, my friend. What a gift you give to the other person by listening to their response, rather than hurrying on. It reminds me of something I’ve been doing lately, in those “idle chat” moments with someone like the grocery clerk who’s ringing up your purchases – I have started saying, “How are you, how’s your family?” It’s funny that even if we have never talked about who their family is, whether they have a husband or partner, the person will often beam when I ask, as if I did know the family, and they seem to feel more like a person, not just the clerk tallying the groceries. It makes me feel a bit more connected to them as a human being, as you mentioned in your post! Have a wonderful day, my friend! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are so spot on, my dear friend. Thank you so much for sharing this. It really makes a difference especially with people who least expect it, those in the taken for granted service industry, like the clerk, as you said. I notice that sometimes, people don’t even really look at each other. And even a smile makes a difference.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I know what you mean about “not looking at each other” – I wonder if it is the cell-phone habit, but I notice people sometimes rush up to a service person and just pelt out their demand, not even taking a moment to say Hello or acknowledge they are a person. Ah. :/ Not us, though! :>

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m quite surprised but pleased with my writing. I have some internal struggles at the moment but it’s probably a winter think, plus traffic. But working on it. โ˜บ Thank you my friend. You have a great day!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Just made me chuckle… I was just at the grocery store, and the checker asked me, How are you?”

    I replied, “I’m well. And how are you today?”

    I don’t think he expected it. It took a few seconds of a blank look for him to return with a cheery smile and an, “I’m doing great!”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Did it make you feel more cheerful and somehow lighter? It’s quite amazing. I do forget especially when I’m stressed but when I’m relaxed, I do my best to interact and connect even if only for a moment. Hugs. xxx

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My father once said that I had a beautiful smile, so it was very sad that I never showed it.

        Two years in northern Thailand, and work in Vancouver, Canada for more than a decade — both really friendly places. Crazy traffic in Thailand, maybe even crazier than South Africa. But I never heard car-horns (except as warnings on blind turns), or swearing, or the like. There’s a kind of calm, civil acceptance of things in Thai society, at least in the north. In Canada, people say “Thank you,” to everyone… the checker, bus driver, restaurant server…, talk to strangers (even ones who look different), and generally act with courtesy and consideration toward others. Makes a big difference.

        I smile a lot more these days. Sometimes, I’ll even get a smile back.
        Peace, and a really, really big smile to you…. ๐Ÿ™‚
        https://luminousaether.wordpress.com/2015/02/16/crazy-foreigners/
        (Feel free to delete the link.)

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I like the blog post. โ˜บ I couldn’t “like” because I think I haven’t gone to your site via my Samsung phone. I’ll go back when on laptop.

        I look bad when not smiling so I smile a lot. Don’t worry about others and smile. It’s also a great feeling.

        Africans don’t make eye contacts as well but I feel I need to or I’m being rude. Different cultures make for interesting social interactions and life in general.

        Hugs. ๐Ÿค—

        Liked by 1 person

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