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Why "How Are You doing?" is the Superpower You Didn't Know You Had

Wave Art
02 Feb 2024
85 views
2 minutes read
The Able Mind
Relationships / Parenting and DiversityMental Health Assistance and AdvocacyBuilding Resilience
Why "How Are You doing?" is the Superpower You Didn't Know You Had

We've all uttered the ubiquitous "How are you?" countless times, often with the enthusiasm of a deflated balloon. But what if this seemingly trivial question, delivered with genuine intent and active listening, held the key to unlocking deeper connections and even preventing mental health struggles? Intriguing, right?


Let us change the question, just a little bit, to "How are you doing"?



Picture a classroom devoid of the usual "textbooks open or detention?" routine. Instead, imagine a teacher wielding a powerful tool: a sincere, eye-to-eye "How are you doing?" delivered with genuine concern. A student, initially guarded like a castle under siege, might hesitantly share about an upcoming presentation, anxieties of adolescence, fear of an upcoming exam, a concern with bullying. Suddenly, the classroom transforms into a space of shared vulnerability, reminding everyone they're not just students, but individuals with real emotions.



Picture a dinner table with a parent firing off the routine "How was school?" expecting the usual one-word response. But let us just change the dialog here! This time, the parent employs the advanced "How are you doing?" maneuver, complete with an attentive gaze and a listening ear. The child, sensing the genuine interest, might confide about a disagreement with a friend or the pressure of upcoming exams, an innate fear or just a feeling a despair. In a moment! a potential unknown crisis is discovered, a connection forged, and a potential hurdle gracefully overcome, all thanks to the magic of a question and some good old-fashioned listening.


Most parents fret over why their children don't connect them with them. Children, however, connect with people who listen, who understand them without judging them. They need an outlet, and it is up to us adults to decide if we are going to allow that outlet to be a positive one or unknowingly let them take the rabbit hole with a red pill.



But the power of "How are you doing?" extends beyond established relationships. Think of a playground scene. One child sits alone, radiating the emotional equivalent of a cloudy Monday. Another, armed with a disarming smile and a genuine "How are you doing?", approaches. The shy child, surprised by the genuine interest, might open up about a lost toy, a lack of friends, or just a forgotten lunchbox. And just like that, a potential social isolation is diffused, a new friendship blooms, a sesne of lonliness disappears, and kindness triumphs over playground politics. Who knew a simple question could be such a social superhero?


Sure, "How are you doing?" can gets relegated to the realm of small talk - the verbal equivalent of lukewarm coffee. But beneath its apparent simplicity lies a hidden potential. It's a key that unlocks a treasure trove of human emotions, revealing anxieties, joys, and everything in between. It's a tool that allows us to truly connect with each other, not just as names and faces, but as complex, multifaceted individuals.


So, let's ditch the autopilot responses and the emotional elevator music. Let's ask "How are you doing?" with sincerity. Let's create spaces for vulnerability, for shared experiences, and for the messy beauty of human connection. Because sometimes, all it takes is a genuine "How are you doing?" to remind others that they're not alone in this journey called life. And who knows, you might just make someone's day, or even spark a lifelong connection. In this increasingly busy and superficial world where lonliness, self-doubt, self-compassion, arrogance and lack of resilience regin supreme, "How are you doing" could just be that simple innocent question that forges a more resilient society. Yes, that seemingly simple question, when delivered with a dash of sincerity and a sprinkle of active listening, can become your social superpower.


Now that's a story worth telling, isn't it?


So "How are you doing today?"

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Categories
Lifestyle and Mental Health
Building Resilience
Selfcare and Coping
Parenting, Relationships
Mental Health in the Workplace
Mental Health Advocacy

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