“How are you?”
“Well, I am fine. Thank you! How are you?”
“I am fine too. Thanks for asking.”
We have heard this so often, right? We have said this too, pretty often. But how much meaningful are these simple questions and answers? You do not need to answer me. Answer yourself — whenever you have asked someone how they were doing, did you genuinely mean it? Or was it some kind of a casual greeting? Did you actually want to know how that person was?
Answer this to yourself — whenever you have answered to someone’s “How are you?”, did you actually reveal how you were? You cannot be “fine” all the time, now can you? Did you ever feel like sharing with that person that you were very happy that you cracked an exam or that you were very sad that you have lost a friend or that you were very angry that someone cheated you or that you were very elated that you were in love with someone?
The answers will tell everything.
We seldom acknowledge our emotions in front of people or worse, in front of ourselves. In the advanced age of technology, it is easy to sit behind a screen and share your emotions with others but no one ever said that it is genuinely heartfelt this way. Physical proximity is very necessary for a person’s emotional well being and we are losing that rapidly today.
To compete with the “happiness” social media platforms have to offer, we apparently only seem to be travelling abroad, or getting married in grandeur or eating picture-perfect dishes! What about those layers and nuances of emotions that we feel?
It is alright to feel sad or angry or shy or scared, just as we feel happy. If we share them with our friends, life becomes easier. The going gets better. Repressed emotions will show in some other form, some other day. It is better if we try and share them with good friends surrounding us. Sharing our feelings with someone also forms meaningful long-lasting relationships.
See what psychologist Noam Shpancer has to say about emotional acceptance in his article “Emotional Acceptance: Why Feeling Bad is Good”.
Maybe the next time we ask someone how they were, we can be more thoughtful about it. Instead of meaninglessly blabbering “How are you?” to every single person we meet, we can try and ask someone we really care about the same question with some meaningful intention.
Maybe the next time we answer someone inquiring about our well being, we can be more respectful of that moment and that human bond, and be more truthful about our emotions. You do not become less masculine if you share your emotions with someone. Rather, it takes a lot of courage to express one’s heart to another person. But this courage is a necessity. And this courage only gives us love, care and warmth.
Share with us what do you think of emotional acceptance in the comment section below. Do you feel emotionally less burdened when you express your feelings to someone? Or, is it difficult for you to share your emotions with others? If yes, maybe share it with us this time. And we can all try and support each other in times of emotional need.