“How You Doin?”

“How you doin?” Joey, circa Friends 1998, made this funny, popular, and for most of us not a pickup line, part of our day-to-day interaction. But has it become our standard check in phrase that we have actually lost the meaning of asking “how are you?”?

I was reflecting how often I ask people “how are you doing”, or “how’s it going”, which are action words, “What are you doing?”, “Where are you going?” (Now or with your life), instead of what I really want to know is how are you feeling? How are you?  What are you really experiencing emotionally, mentally? Through my mulling it over, I have come up with that this is a product of our action-oriented culture. We must always be doing something, going somewhere, on a quest to get or do the next thing, goals, goals, goals. It has become so pervasive that we don’t even realize that simple questions like “how are you?” have now turned connection points into another interaction where we are asking people to tell us what their latest accomplishment was, or their next goal is. We are missing the opportunity of connecting, to be there for someone, in any capacity. Maybe it is to hear about a success or to get/give input on a thing, but first and foremost to make a meaningful, emotional connection with another human.

We are moving so quickly that our interactions have become another check the box, (see blog on Creating Space). And in our fast-paced lives our responses are equally as meaningless, “I am good.” “I am fine.” Or “we are…”. Not even giving yourself the opportunity to take a moment for yourself, but bringing your family, your colleagues, your inner circle into how YOU are.

So instead of “How are you doing?”, ask “How are you feeling?”. We could all use a little opportunity to explore how we are feeling. And if the response is “good” or “fine” and your gut tells you it isn’t, don’t be afraid to ask again, signaling to the person that you really do care about what their current real experience is. This is a foundational element to increase our emotional intelligence, both in self-awareness and relationship management. Maybe take a beat and get in the habit of checking in with yourself a few times a day at breakfast, lunch, and dinner, or when you brush your teeth, and ask yourself “How am I really feeling?”.

Published by rachaelsarahgass

Working mom, wife, friend, sister, organizational psychologist, learner, coach. Kindness Counts. People First. Integrity Always.

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