The other day, a friend asked me how I was doing. I actually was doing fine, and said so. But it got me thinking. How often -- usually in passing -- does someone ask 'How are you?' or "Are you doing ok?" Is the person just being polite, or do they really want to know?
When someone asks, do you give an honest answer? Or do you lie, and just say you're good, even if you are anything but? Do you really want to share
that you're really feeling sad, lonely, angry or completely frustrated
with your job/parents/roommate/boyfriend/grades/class
How often do you ask others those questions yourself? Do you expect a complete answer when you ask? Do you truly want to be an ear for someones grievances?
Ok, that's a lot of sentences that end in question marks, lol. I think sometimes, it depends on the level of friendship, whether the person is a co-worker (some of my co-workers I know very well, others are more like acquaintances) or a closer friend. Certain people I know I can unburden myself to if I'm having a hard day. Others, not so much. And there have been occasions where I've asked someone how they're doing, and they have launched into something that's bothering them, when really all I meant was a polite hello. You have to think, though, what if they live alone and don't have anyone else to talk to? I know venting to my best friends about rough days or my frustrations really helps me, and sometimes, we all need a sympathetic ear.
I'm not sure where I was planning on going with this, really, but it's something to think about.