I just read something that popped up on my Facebook newsfeed and now I have to blog about it.
Glennon has a blog and it looks like she is also an author and now I will probably spend the rest of the day reading her entire blog and book and anything else I can find about her.
So far, I have only read this one post and I loved it!
It describes exactly how I feel about questions.
I often get scolded when I do not return the societal politeness that is: “Hi, How are you?”
When someone says to me “Hi, How are you?” I reply with “Very well thank you.”
No matter how I am feeling.
Because THEY DON’T REALLY CARE. They are just being polite.
This embarrasses Justin. For those that only know Justin through this blog, he is one of the most polite, nice people you will ever meet (well, in public! ha! ). He will stand at a door for 15 minutes to hold it until someone finally relieves him of his duty. He will say “Bless you” every. single. time. someone sneezes no matter where we are, sometimes it’s just a whisper. He smiles at everyone he sees and asks them “How are you?”
I love him for that, but that doesn’t mean I am going to do it too. If I hold the door for you, you better hustle through and the next person better take over.
Of course, there are things I say just to be polite, but this one saying comes up daily and Justin and I do not agree.
So, with that being said, you can imagine his embarrassment when someone says to me, “Hi, how are you?” and I reply, “Very well, thank you.” And DON’T ASK THEM HOW THEY ARE! gasp
When we walk away, Justin always says how rude that is and that I should have asked them how they were, “It’s the polite thing to do”, he says. My reply to him every time is, “Why would I ask someone a question that I don’t mean?” In fact, I feel like I AM being polite in even answering their question! Now I have to ASK them one?
That person doesn’t really care how I am. People say “Hi, how are you” as if it’s one word. They are not expecting you to really tell them how you are nor do they care.
When I truly want to hear how someone is, I ask them. When I have the time to listen and care about how someone is feeling, I will ask and listen and open my heart. Standing in line for groceries, is not that time. So, instead, I have a conversation about the moment we are in right now. And it’s a light, friendly conversation that everyone walks away from feeling happy and good and we carry on with our day.
I don’t like the pressure of having to say the superficial “Hi How are you?” every time I see someone. And I’m not saying that Justin is superficial because he likes to do this. Justin really does care about how people are doing and he will take the time, even if we are rushing through the grocery store, to listen to how someone is truly “doing”.
In fact, if we see someone we know in public and he doesn’t feel like he has adequate energy or time to have a lengthy conversation with them, he will avoid them like the plague. Which has me rolling my eyes and sighing loudly because I have no problem saying Hi to people and moving right a long. Or briefly catching up and then saying I am in a hurry, but let’s get together soon because I want to hear more of whatever they are talking about. I feel like we are both very polite people, we just have different ways of showing it.
Glennon’s post really captured me because it really shows how a question, even directed toward someone you don’t know very well, can create emotions so quickly. Just one question can let someone know how much you care and that you are paying attention.
I want to be better about that. Not asking questions is just as bad as asking a superficial question.
I hope you read her post because it’s sooooo good.
So, my question to you at 6am on this Saturday morning is:
How do you guys feel? How do you feel about asking polite questions that you really don’t mean? Do you do it?
What questions do you ask to let people in your life know you are paying attention?