How Are You (Really)?

Think back to the last time another woman asked you this question; “How are you?” It likely wasn’t that long ago…

Now, how many times have you been asked how you are this year?

Better yet, how many times a day or throughout the week; at church, at your kids’ activities, at work, on the soccer field, school pickup, your doctors appointments, when you ran into someone at the grocery store, or at whatever activity or event you attended, did you get asked this question?

And, what did you say, when they asked you?

Were you honest or did you not want to get into it so you said, “I’m good or I’m fine, how are you?”

You know what I’m talking about, right?

The acquaintance, or friend, or family member, or whomever, smiles, answering back with a mirrored response, “I’m good!”

And how many times in our lifetime have we answered, “I’m good” when we’re really not?

I’m just gonna let that sit for a minute. 

If you’re anything like me, you’ve done it many, many times. And you’re not the only one.  It’s very likely that the woman asking you, is doing it right back.  Many times it’s without thinking or perhaps a bad habit.  Maybe we do it just to keep the conversation rolling smoothly…

But why do we do this? Is it really a girl thing like some guys like to say?

Maybe at one time or another your husband has even asked you how you are and without hesitation you said, “I’m good” only he didn’t believe you because maybe your body language was off or the passive aggressive way you were slamming the cabinets so he gives you another opportunity and asks again, but reluctant to keep going, you say “I’m fine, really!”, as you force out a smile.  He gives you a funny look as he decides to give up the battle of whether or not his wife is REALLY okay or just saying so.  Almost as if he’s been through this with you before.

Insert the sound of crickets…………………………

Here’s the thing….it’s not just in our marriages.  Actually, it’s a big fat dishonest problem across the board.  I’ll be the first to admit I’m guilty of this. It’s no mystery to me why we sometimes will say I’m good when we’re not.

It’s easier to say we’re fine than to talk about how we’re really doing.

It’s easier to shut down the conversation for fear of being judged.

It’s easier to pretend you’re okay when you’re really not because then they’ll know you’re struggling or that you failed or that you’re sick.

If we’re being honest it happens a lot.  If we’re being really honest, we are NOT always being honest.

And sometimes, sure, we are fine and our answer is completely genuine.

But next time someone asks you how you are, and you’re not good, don’t say that you are.

Because at the end of the day, what are we doing?  Do we want to grow friendships with foundations of honesty and trust?  Or are we sitting stagnant, isolating ourselves from places of REAL community? Do you want to spend the rest of your life walking around with a mask on? Or do you want real relationships-the kind where we can build one another up and be there for eachother. The kind where we can give comfort in the hard times and be celebrating alongside one another in the rich moments of life.

If we’re not being honest about how we’re doing, we’re really not helping anyone, especially ourselves.

When I ask another woman how she is and she says, “Oh, not too good.  I’m tired.  The kids are wearing me down and I’ve got such and such going on…it’s hard.”  It is such a relief- like a breath of fresh air! Not because I’m glad she’s struggling, but because I know I’m not alone.  Because the conversation is honest and transparent, I immediately feel comfortable sharing honestly when she asks me how I’m doing.  I know, that by listening to her, I can help her to feel not alone too.

So, I’ll end by saying this.  It’s okay to give an answer that isn’t what you think someone wants to hear.  It’s okay to say you’re having a bad day.  It’s okay to say you’re sad.  It’s okay to say you’re lonely or struggling, or need a hug.   It’s even more okay to say you need help.

I want to encourage you this week to answer the question, “how are you?” with the TRUTH.

When we’re  H O N E S T  and F I L T E R  F R E E, we encourage other women to be the same.

So pass it on.


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