How Are You, Really?

Updated: Nov 14


Seriously? Do you know what I find weird, that while you are learning in English class how to ask someone how one is doing you get already to know how one should answer.

“Fine, how are you?”

But what if I am not ‘fine’? I still say it and smile. Why? Because I have to, otherwise people get awkward and don’t really know how to respond to honesty. Of course, there are some moments when you are ‘fine’, but I am not quite sure how often that would actually be the case.

Most of the time it is easier to simply say what you were taught to say. Often enough I don’t feel that the other person who is asking would even want to know how I am actually feeling, so I make things easier by playing along and telling them exactly what they want to hear – “I’m fine.”

Except once when I was seriously sick of it. This was when a friend of mine and I decided to stop lying since we were genuinely interested in how the other was feeling. We promised that any time we ask “How are you?”, we would not be allowed to answer with just “fine”. We struggled to find words that described how we actually felt. These words may exist somehow, but we are just not used to including them in our daily vocabulary. After a while we noticed that it’s just easier to talk about feeling frustrated, depressed and disappointed instead of gorgeous, fulfilled, or grateful. Why? I can’t tell. But I highly recommend to just give it a go! Tell your family and friends that you will, I suggest for the next four weeks, try to express how you really feel. Hopefully, you’ll find people joining this challenge and participating in deeper conversations. If not, at the very least, you were able to get people thinking about their true emotions. Human nature will ensure that this challenge always remains unpredictable, fun, and eye-opening.

So what do you think? Challenge accepted?


  • drawing by pigwire

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