"I'm alright", "I'm good", "Yeah, not bad";
do these sound familiar to you?
How many times have you been asked this question this week? How many times have you asked this question to others this week?
What was your reply? Use the comment box and put that in.
Now ask yourself, was your reply true, or was it just a reflex response? If you are anything like me, and most of the population on earth, then it was a reflex response.
Why is this though? Someone has taken the time to ask us how we are. Is that we feel that they are just being pleasant? Perhaps just giving us lip service and that they won't want to know that NO, you're not ok and, in fact, you're having a difficult time with "XY&Z".
Let's turn the tables. When you ask a friend the question, "how are you?", are you committed to the question you are asking, or are you asking it because it's a nice thing to do?
Wellness and wellbeing can sometimes come down to a simple act; listening. I do mean this both ways: that are you being listened to by others and that you are repaying said service by listening to others.
It is hard to have difficult conversations. Personally, I struggled with being honest about who I am for close to three decades, so I know that when you can be open, true to yourself and to others, that it is liberating. Scary, but liberating.
Hopefully, you placed a comment in the box when I asked at the beginning of this post how you are. If now, on reflection, you feel that it was a reflex comment, put in the comments how you are truly feeling! Let's use the platform you are reading this on and let us be honest and open.
Expand the question, share this with your friends, family, work colleagues, your neighbour's, heck, the staff in the supermarket and ask them. "how are you?".
If you get a reflex answer, challenge it! "Oh that's great, but how are you actually?" Give them a moment; the chances are this will never have happened before, so listen! Give them the greatest gift of asking a question and showing that you genuinely give a hoot about the answer.
You will not only be showing up in service (a phrase borrowed from Simon Sinek) for that person and their wellbeing, but you'll also be helping your own wellbeing and mental health by practising empathy. We will have a post down the line going into more depth on empathy, gratitude, and kindness.
I am prepared to ask the question and show up in service. If I get a reflex answer, I will push back and ask "how are you really?" and then I will listen. Truly listen.
Will you do the same when you ask the question?
HOW ARE YOU?
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Happy Wellness Wednesday