How are you today?

A person attends a party or social gathering with pals and then slips into bed, only to rip up to the pillow and find themselves alone. At this celebration, I’m sure a few individuals asked the person ‘how are you?’ or, for those who hadn’t seen each other in a long time, “how have you been”— I’m fine, how are you? the definitive response in its entirety.

When someone asks that question, it may sound so innocuous that we automatically respond with something as easy as I’m fine, good, or fine, or even simply a grin if we are feeling very sentimental. However, how are you truly? This question is accompanied by a sense of gravity on the part of the receiver. Perhaps if spoken truthfully, one would not have time to listen—perhaps one was merely inquiring. Perhaps I am unable to express it in a single phrase; perhaps it is too much to comprehend where to begin or end. Perhaps I’m unable to fathom how the fuck I am. As a result, my automatic system will anticipate my one-word response… I’m good.

The person asking the question to a greater extent does not mean the inquiry; they are simply asking to be kind and, of course, do not want to hear the whole tale about how you are not well…We have evolved to the automation of simply being with the intention of nothingness. We pose questions and provide fake responses because that is simply how things are. We have been socialized to conceal our emotions from the outside world. The majority of us cannot fathom responding with “I’m feeling quite down today, but thank you for asking” rather than “OK, thanks for asking.” This is something we are all guilty of… but why?

When was the last time you honestly answered that question?

Many people are suffering on the inside, despite the fact that they are surrounded by quite a large number of caring people, such as friends, family, mentors, et cetera. Why? Perhaps they are concerned that no one will pay attention or understand them. Perhaps they believe that regardless of the scenario, it does not matter as much as it should. Perhaps they are apprehensive about being criticized. We are so disconnected from one another that we are unable to see or feel the people who are sitting right next to us, silently suffering. Only after it is too late do we regretfully open our eyes. Despite everyone’s pleas to be heard, no one is listening.

It’s possible that these one-worded responses are a ruse. These one-worded responses conceal a great deal of emotion. They hold so much that is on the edge of shattering. They weigh so much on the precipice of oblivion. They numb us for an extended period of time and exacerbate denial and repression of feelings. Nonetheless, there is undoubtedly a party of unwelcome guests in our heads (thoughts)– erupting like fireworks, we are simply watching, and hoping someone/ anyone will hear the explosions.

When was the last time you asked that question genuinely, intending to listen?

Every day, we all experience our mental health to varying degrees. I believe it is critical that we convey our true feelings. In addition to this, your feelings are valid; you have the right to experience any emotion you desire. You are not overreacting; you are simply feeling what you are feeling, and that’s okay.

It appears as though the only individuals remaining to genuinely ask the question are experts such as therapists, doctors, and mentor health personnel. What if we all asked the question truthfully and listened intently to the responses of others?

2 thoughts on “How are you today?”

  1. I feel like we need distinct questions to ask “how are you” for politeness sake vs. “how are you truly?” because we actually want to know.

    I have my own little system of responses:
    “I’m great” = I’m doing well
    “I’m good” = I’m doing so-so
    “I’m okay” = I’m not okay
    “Uh, I’m okay, I guess” = I could very well be suicidal at that point

    Liked by 1 person

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