How are you today?
Take a minute to think about how many times you may ask that question of someone today and how many times it may be asked of you. It is stated to the office acquaintance as we pass in the hall. The cashier may ask how we are as they scan our items. We may ask our spouse or children at the end of the day.
How do you answer this question? How is the question answered when you ask it?
At times this question appears to be a social nicety. We answer “I’m fine.” in order to complete the interaction and go on about our day. In reverse, we often ask the question as a way to be pleasant. We don’t have time to truly listen to what may be going on.
By profession, I am trained to listen to others. I ask questions and sometimes I simply listen to what is going on in my client’s life. I remember small details such as a work deadline they are worried about or that a certain month is an anniversary. I’m always shocked at how surprised my clients are when I remember these details. “How do you remember?” they ask. Although I don’t have a trick for the dates and times, the simple answer is that I listen to what they are saying.
We are a busy society and sadly I think we have often become self centered. All of our lives are important. We have drama and issues that are stressing us. As a result, we are often not aware that others around us may be hurting or struggling. Even when a friend or family member is talking, we may be mentally going over our to do list, worrying about a deadline or reading text on the phone.
I met a friend recently and before we started talking, she insisted that I tell her about my week. This is an oddity because with all of my friends I am the one asking them and listening first. Sometimes the conversation will then turn to me and other times I simply push it aside. I have often felt like this because I didn’t feel like I would truly be heard.
Another friend recently shared a struggle with me she had not been able to share with anyone simply because she had not been given the space to do so. She wasn’t sure she would be heard.
My challenge to you this week is to become aware of how often the question how are you is asked of you and how often you ask it of others.
I know that many may fear that asking this question will open a door no one wants to know about. If that is your fear, then don’t ask the question. Maybe there are people in your life that need to hear this question. If you are asked this question, tell someone if you’re struggling because it’s Monday or that you are missing your daughter who left for college this week. Also let someone know if you are feeling good because you got up and worked out early this morning.
The only way we can truly become connected to each other is if we are honest enough to ask questions and take the time to listen for honest answers.
As for how I am:
- I have a busy week with a possible new opportunity coming up this week. (Fingers crossed and good energy for Tuesday.)
- I’m struggling with a return of fatigue that I am certain is due to thyroid issues. (I have an appointment with a new physician in September)
- I alternate between hating my 5:00 am workouts and loving them. My fatigue makes the bed a difficult place to leave.
- I wish I had more time for this space. I have blog posts and ideas but can’t seem to find the time to do everything I want to. (I seriously think my thyroid is to blame for this – or maybe I’ve become lazy).
Take time each day this week to sincerely ask someone “How are you?”.