Three simple words that can hurt


Everyday people use these three words to family, friends, acquaintances, colleagues, peers, and strangers.  They put these three words in a form of a question.  The question is abused and misused by many.  

Do words still matter? 

Have we become unfocused in a way that betrays the meaning of this question? 

Ever stop and ask yourself why do I greet a person with the question, “How are you?” How often do you have the time to fully respond to the answer that may be given?

Ever contemplate your answer when asked, How are you? How often do you violate your experience by giving a well scripted meaninglessness answer of “I’m ok.”, I’m fine, even, I’m good.”? 

We miss out on our humanness when the question, answer, and response are diminished to robotic interactions no more helpful than the credit card machine posting, “Is this amount ok?”

When we ask the question and are not comfortable or able to respond or reflect on the answer we can cause harm to the one that may crack the door of the soul and offer an honest answer. Hurrying to move on or remaining focused on your phone gives the message that the person’s lived experience or current circumstance is unimportant, contrite, or irrelevant.  When time, empathy, or care is void consider revising the question to a statement. Decide not to ask for an answer you are unable to attend to.  Following the salutation with a statement of well being can uplift.  “Good morning, I hope you are doing well.” “Hi, It’s good to see you.” 

Using our language intentionally can assist us in interacting in our humanness rather than exchanging prescribed messages that are void of authentic meaning.  Make a conscious choice to ask, “How are you?”, when you have the time and care to attend to the response that may be given. When choosing to ask this question be open to the conversation extending past 30 seconds. 

Speak Your Mind


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