“How was your day?”
The questions “How was your day?” and “How are you?” have become simple social constructs, and have entirely lost their meaning. Most people ask without caring, and answer to avoid the real.
“Pretty good.” is safe. It lets nothing of yourself out. It doesn’t tell the listener anything about you, or your experience, or your life. It actually becomes a barrier, because it’s challenging to get past that question if there’s nothing in the reply.
I choose to answer. Every question. In a real way. Every time. Even if it’s not what I feel like sharing in that moment, or if it might cause pain. Because real is necessary.
I went through a time recently that was absolutely brutal. And I didn’t want to share. But the people around me know that if they ask, I will answer. I had to ask my friends not to ask “How are you?”
When I ask, I want to know the answer. The real answer.
I want to know how you feel. Are you happy? Sad? Angry? Joyful? What was your first thought when you woke up this morning. Were you excited to go into work, or dreading it? Did you have any moments of love or appreciation? Did you stop and visit with a patch of moss on the sidewalk because it called to you? Did you throw something out of frustration?
All the good, and bad, and indifferent daily ups and downs. We all need to share these things. To share the good and offer support and that rush of endorphins from seeing or experiencing life. And to share the bad and offer support and a hug when things suck.
When you ask, mean it. When you answer, be real.