Really, how are you?
By: Mandie Foster
You walk into a store and someone comes up and asks you "how are you?” And you say something like, “Good. Thanks. How are you?”
Even if you’re not good. We say that we are okay or good because society has taught us that saying anything else is not politically correct. Society says, “it’s not okay to not be okay." And when people ask, we pretend like everything is okay even if it’s not. People ask out of courtesy. It is something that comes as automatic as saying hello to someone. It isn’t something that many people actually put much thought behind.
There aren’t really many people who you can tell how you truly feel to that will care. When people ask they don’t really care about all of your problems and other things that you’re dealing with. That is unless those affect them of course, then they will care. People are selfish by nature and only care about themselves.
Think about how surprised you would be if you asked a stranger or acquaintance how they were and they said that they were bad. Chances are things would get awkward because you don’t really care why. You have your own problems to deal with and don’t need to worry about someone else's. You don’t have time for anyone else’s drama. There are of course some great samaritans out there that would dig in and try to help but the majority of the us wouldn’t.
We ask out of courtesy and not care. And that is why any response other than good or something along those lines isn’t deemed acceptable.
Wouldn’t it be great if we could honestly say how we feel and that people would care? Sometimes, all someone needs is someone to listen to them. Someone to show that they care. Someone to tell them that they understand. To tell them that their feelings are valid.
People should be able to feel free to say, “hey, I am not okay or I’m not good” without worrying about being judged or looked at like something is wrong with them.
There are so many people in today’s society that are dealing with so many things that they try to deal with internally because they feel like no one cares. People want to feel loved and cared about. People want to feel accepted. Humanity 101. I know it’s hard. We have so much going on in our own lives blah blah. And to care about anyone but ourselves goes against our natural human tendency to be selfish and only worrying about ourselves. Sorry to break the news, but it’s not all about you regardless of what society tells you. Help others and others will help you. No one cares about you until they know how much you care. And how you treat people shows a lot about your character.
If we stop asking out of habit and actually mean what we say there would be so many healthy and happy people. A world where there is genuine care behind those three worlds. And where responses don’t default to what is socially acceptable.
Mental and emotional health are just as important as physical. You never know what someone else is dealing with or what demons they are fighting. You don’t know the impact that giving that person five minutes of your time can make.
It’s okay to not be okay.