How many times have you asked or been asked the question “how are you”?
This morning on my way back from my run I bumped into an old friend who I often walk past and we exchange pleasantries. This morning I decided to stop and do a bit more, I asked him how he was. I didn’t really want the normal “oh yeah, I’m fine”, and I didn’t get it. It warmed my heart that this turned into one of the most rewarding conversations I’ve had for ages. It made me think about the difference it would make if we all did this a bit more, opened up, offered some honesty to others. And more importantly when we ask someone how they are, to actually mean it and be prepared to listen without judgment or negativity.
I know I have some stuff I’d quite like to talk openly and honestly about. Money, a tough year for business last year, changes in my career, being a dad and the issues I face sometimes.
I don’t think these potential conversations need to turn into mini counselling sessions, they shouldn’t be about trying to fix the thing for the other person, just about listening. It’s amazing how much talking about something can aid with clarity, stress and focus.
I’d love to hear peoples thoughts on this. I know there could be many pitfalls and issues with this stuff, but I’d love to come up with some guidelines for people wanting to follow them. It’s like a lighter version of The Samaritans, something I’ve been involved with for a good few years. I’ve often thought there are many potential ways people can get help before it gets so bad they need the Samaritans. Maybe this is one way.
Anyway, it’s a very small seed of a thought and is still developing in my mind. If you see me in the street, ask me how I’m doing.