What is the first thing you say when you run into a friend you’ve not seen in awhile?
How you doing?
….or my favourite, "What’s new?“
Oh how I dread that question.
You may be thinking, ”C'mon Dave, it’s not that bad.“ Well, I beg to differ, and here’s why.
I will be the first to admit that I am SOOOO guilty of doing this. I do it all the time, but I’m much more aware of it now.
Statements such as the above scream apathy… basically ”I’m not really interested in what you have to say“.
Sounds harsh, but true.
We’ve become so conditioned to these perfunctory statements, that it rolls off our tongue effortlessly. Answering them is about as much fun as that ghastly trip to the dentist.
When I get asked one of the above, I respond with the same effort that was put into the question.
How you doing? - Good
What’s up? - Not much
What’s new? Nothing
Of course, there is MUCH more I could say, but I don’t. Why should I….why should anyone, really?
Minimum effort = Minimum response
This may sound pessimistic, but really, how many of you have thought the same? I believe we’ve all felt this way at some point. I’m just verbalizing it.
So, I challenge both you and myself. The next time you run into someone, exclude these statements from your vocabulary. Remove them completely.
Instead, find a kind alternative statement or something to compliment them on to open the conversation.