how are you
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By: Efren Alvarez Galapon
One ordinary working day, I met our Account Executive along the way to our offices. Upon seeing me he immediately greeted me with, “How are you today?” with a smiling face and firm hand shake.
I paused for a couple of seconds before replying to him with, “Today, I am 90% good about my family (no issue so far); 80% with our villa (no water for two days); 87% with my work (the surveillance report is not-quite-good); 76% about my car (got a dent on the back bumper).”
Kamal (Yamout) did not expect me to answer in such a candid and detailed manner. He then asked me my overall feeling for the day; then I said, “hmmm, let me take the average, 90 plus 80 plus 87 plus 76 equals approximately an average of 85% GOOD at least today!”
Most of the time when I am greeted with “How are you” by anyone anywhere else, I reply differently than the automatic response. I would say these variations to different greeters:
“Today, I feel good because I had this and that yesterday. . .”
“Today, is a little better than yesterday . . .”
“Today, I feel bad because I was not able to finish the task my son asked me to do for him for his class assignment in school . . .”
“I am not feeling well right now, I got a virus, don’t get near me . . .”
“Right now, I feel bad, and I want to kill someone (showing a grimace on my face kiddingly) . . .” and I would elicit a brief laughter with the person who asked me how I am.
There are many instances in which I receive “I am fine” responses from different individuals but when I stare for five seconds the faces of said responders, I see and perceive hidden loneliness, anger, resentment, frustration, indifference, rage, demoralization, hopelessness, irritability, among other negative emotions making these individuals unhappy in their current life situation.
How about you?
Have you observed how others respond to your greeting of “How are you” to them?