Real Conversation: Don't ask "How are you?" We are conditioned to respond a certain way when asked the question, “How are you?” Without thinking, we say, “good; how are you?” Even if we are not doing well, we are programmed to respond that way. If someone changes up the question and asks, “What have you been up to?” our autorespond still replies, “good; how are you?” The depth of our conversation is limited when we ask questions that do not require truthful answers. The conversation has an excuse to be over at once because we don’t have to think or engage in listening.
So this week, we ask you to engage in true conversation with those around you. Don’t simply ask people, “How are you doing?” Ask a more specific question that requires them to engage in real conversation, with a real answer. This is going to be tricky because you will have to overcome a habit, but you will see that asking real questions allows you to connect with people in a deeper, more meaningful way.
The next question might be, what if I don’t want to connect with people or dive into deep conversation with friends, families or even strangers? If that thought crossed your mind, then that is the second part of this week’s goal. Take the time to engage in conversation with people. You will be surprised how much you can learn about someone from a two-minute conversation.
Tips on what to ask instead of “How are you?”
- How is work going?
- How is your daughter enjoying school?
- Do you have anything fun planned for this weekend?
- Have you done anything cool lately?
We are excited about this week’s “Don’t ask ‘how are you?’ ” goal. You’ll find that people are touched when someone asks a question and genuinely seems to care about the answer. Take the time this week to engage in true conversation.
Blog written by Aly Simons