So, after my last blog post here which seemed to resonate with quite a few people (so many thanks, as ever, for all the messages, encouragements, etc etc…) I decided that I would practise what I preached, and be Honest.
So when someone, even a random someone I hardly knew, asked how I was, I wouldn’t say ‘fine’ or ‘oh yes, great, you know, well..’ and other fluffy such downright lies. I’d say ‘Not fine’ ‘not OK’ or ‘OK ish but had a pretty appalling week’ etc etc. Or if I felt good, would say I felt good, and how good it was to feel good, and how I was loving the moment.
Responses to this have been interesting, surprising and generally encouraging. Even the conversation with the random slightly-known. I have found, that if I am honest, conversation can then lead to more than it usually does with the whole ‘how are you? -fine, you? Oh, fine’ <nervously fiddles with phone, smiles and sees friend in corner that one ‘must’ have a word with> .
Here’s how one went.
‘How are you?’
‘I’m not too OK, actually.’
‘Yes, I am struggling this week with my lung disease’.
‘Oh, I’m sorry. It must be really difficult. How do you keep going?’
‘I have a lot to be thankful for. I’m not dreadful. But it is hard.’
‘My mum feels like that. She feels she can’t cope sometimes. It’s hard and so frustrating for her.’
<and so on. Situation slightly changed, but this is one example of how my honesty resolution turned a mundane greeting into something more of a relationship developing conversation.>
I cannot claim this is always the case. There are those, I know, who will be thinking ‘there she goes, whinging again’ and would by far prefer me to say ‘fine’. I know this by their slightly cold response and their quick spotting of said-friend-in-corner. But I reckon the honesty resolution pays off. And it’s more honest.
I don’t think I will always use it. I have to say there are those times when ‘fine’ suffices. The person trying to sell me double glazing doesn’t need to know the ins and outs of my life and my struggle. <or maybe it would send them away more speedily?>
But I think I’ll keep giving it a go. Those of you who know me in RL, feel free to challenge me on this, and tell me off. I know you will.