How many times has the following happened to you today? Someone asks, “How are you?” and regardless of how you are really feeling, you reply, “Good.”
It is the standard answer.
It feels like the safe response.
But the reality is that by saying “good”, we choose to stay armoured and seemingly one dimensional. We deny others the opportunity to see us as real, vast, nuanced and complex. We hide behind expectation and push away our vulnerability.
If you are like me, you might worry what the other person will think if we are honest. That we will make them uncomfortable. That we will actually let them in on the secret that sometimes we feel less than “good”. That the illusion of our picture perfect life may be shattered in some way.
But what if you went against cultural expectations and expressed something more honest? What if showing up exactly as you are in that moment means that you are able to express the full range of your humanity? All of it, rather than just the acceptable bits.
You could instead, connect to someone at a deeply profound level. To share some of the universal experience of being human. You could even inspire deeper kinship and powerful emotional healing.
So I challenge you to commit to this radical action – to respond to the next “How are you?” with something more real. Depending on the situation it might be as simple as using some creative mood words that more accurately describe what you are feeling. Or you might feel ready to share a part of your inner self by expressing what is truthfully present for you. Remember to breathe and be gentle with yourself as you learn this new skill.
And for bonus points – try asking a different question when you meet someone. How about:
“What was the best part of your day today?”
“What’s going on with you these days?”
“How are you really feeling today?”
Changing our interactions with others, even in such a small way can be difficult and uncomfortable. Please reach out and let me know about your experiences – I always adore hearing from you.
love & pranams,