Many people view the questions “How are you doing?” and “Are you okay?” as questions that indicate care and concern for another. However, to me, they are nothing more than a conversation starter.
“How are you doing?” or “How have you been doing?”
These questions prompt you to share what you have been doing and allows you to catch up with friends. Whether or not they really care is unknown. They may nod, smile and say things like “Oh really?”, “That’s great!” or perhaps just laugh a little. Perhaps they are just entertaining you or perhaps they actually care and mean what they say. You really have no way to know.
“Are you okay?”
Honestly, if it’s a face to face confrontation you should be able to see for yourself if I’m doing okay or look tired, stressed and not in the mood for a conversation. Though if you manage to talk to me and somehow make me feel better afterwards despite me being in a bad mood, thank you. Generally, that is not the case and I simply end up using more energy to not be rude to the other person.
For me, I would much prefer it if they gave me my own space and let me share what I feel like when I feel like. Most of the time, it is after I’ve done my fair share of thinking and just want someone who I can tell them to. It does not matter if they do not really care or don’t respond. If I really needed someone’s input or perspective on the matter, I would approach them myself and share my problem with them. If you are not someone I trust, why would I answer truthfully and honestly about what is going on in my life and whether or not I’m okay?
Of course, they may simply be doing it as a courtesy or are trying to be nice or like I said, trying to start a conversation. So most of the time, as most people would probably reply, I’d say, “I’m doing ok, how about you?” or if I want to end the conversation immediately, “I’m fine, thanks.”
Perhaps I simply prefer to try to think of how to resolve my own internal conflicts.
Or perhaps it is just me being unwilling to open up to others unnecessarily.
Do you like it when people ask how you are doing? Or whether you are okay? Do you feel comfortable or annoyed? Comment your thoughts below. 🙂