Many of us enjoy exchanging pleasant things as we walk alone through the countryside, or shake our heads and share a few friendly words at a familiar job or in a public place.
He often smiles when we ask, ‘Hello, how are you?’, Which is often followed by a thoughtless, ‘Hello, thank you, how are you?’
It would be strange if there was another answer other than the question asked. It is a polite greeting, sometimes not even waiting for an answer before we continue on our way.
But what if we say we are wrong when we are not? We are constantly advised to talk about our feelings, to be reminded of the importance of sharing with others when we are depressed, and to allow them to help us. But how do we do that?
1- Context is important when asked what we are like. Was the question memorization of immediate recognition or was there a degree of interest shown? What else did you both do when you met? Were you both on your way to another location? Is it worth the time and place to begin the process of disclosure if you are already struggling or if it is better to schedule a future meeting?
2- Peace can sometimes seem like an easy option, although it may cause us to face increasing levels of stress, tension, and unhappiness. We may not even know why we feel that way, we may not be able to find words to describe what is happening, we may be frustrated by our lowly attitude. Keeping a journal or talking to someone sometimes can help us deal with those feelings of confusion and frustration.
3- Pretending to be alive may be an important tool in our survival environment. It enables us to work every day, provides a welcome veneer to hide in the back, allowing us to pass each day. If we really think about how we feel we can be worried about separation and not be comfortable with how we will recover enough after that.
4- Making ourselves at risk can be stressful too. Once distributed, information about a person’s dirty or stressful situation cannot be retrieved. Yes, someone may care about us, be interested in us and support us, but how will he look at us in the future; will it change our relationship, and if so, will it be okay?
5- Giving verbal cues can sometimes be a good way to start a conversation when we feel down and out of style. Comments like, ‘I’m fine, thank you, not too bad, survival, I was better, I’m coming’ are all indications that we are not the happiest we have ever been! Those responses could be an opportunity for someone to ask if we are really good, to tell him to ask if we would like to talk, or perhaps to suggest we order coffee. But, for them to follow depends on how busy they are, how they feel, and whether they are willing to support.
6- How close is your relationship? Do you want to risk changing relationships by sharing how hard you work, revealing what really happens when you are asked how you are? And in fact, sometimes it can be a problem if, whenever we meet, our personal situation becomes the topic of conversation. Sometimes not talking about our problems can give us a break and keep us from being overwhelmed by our situation.
7- Can you trust someone else to do what is right for you? No one wants to reveal his deepest worries and anxieties, only to find that they are the subject of gossip after a few hours. Feeling able to share privately with others, and for that to be received in a supportive way is a key factor in not feeling well.
8- Ultimately it is our responsibility to share when we need a little caring friendship. But doing so requires that we be ‘in the right place’ to ask someone if he or she has time to talk, confident enough to show that we feel inferior and need someone to talk to. And, again, don’t take it personally if they respond that they are too busy to talk right now, but they will come back to us and talk later.
9- It is also important to be clear about what we need. Is it advice, a person simply listening without comment, friend, kiss? Doing so allows everyone to know what is expected of them.
And do not forget that none of us work in an empty environment. The other person, no doubt, will have his or her story, issues, and problems that concern him or her. Try to reconnect and allow time for them to be heard. And if you find that you are having a hard time remembering that talking to your doctor or consulting a counselor or hypnotherapist can give you the professional support you need in your journey to feel really healthy.