“How are you?”.
Probably the most insincere question of all questions.
How often do we ask this without actually having the time for the other to properly answer it?
I have, too often.
Let’s take my mum.
She is the kind of person who wouldn’t just say “Everything is fine”.
If you make the “mistake” to ask her how she is, she will take the opportunity to answer, trust me.
And really, once a while, this is completely fine.
I love how now I can speak to her as a grown up – woman to woman.
It feels great to not only ask for help anymore, but also supply with advice which I have learned within my adult life.
However, since life is busy, I hardly ever have the time, or rather the patience, to listen to her extended stories.
In the Netherlands it’s not very common that the waiter or cashier would ask you this question, but I have noticed within English speaking countries it does happen a lot.
Is it a culture thing?
Does it happen out of politeness?
Sometimes I wish I could answer ” No, I’m not good and this has been a really rough year”.
Probably tears and angry statements would follow.
Would they be polite enough to listen to my ramblings?
I don’t think their boss would approve.
“How are you?” is a rhetorical questions.
Everyone knows the answer.
We are basically obliged to say “I’m good”.
But is that really possible living in a society like ours?
A society which is turning us into robots.
Not by machines, but by shutting down our emotions.
I think we should be more careful with asking the “How are you?” question.
And if you do want to, make sure you have the time and the patience to listen to the answer 🙂