“Hello, how are you?” – meaningless dribble or empowerment?

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“I’m good thanks”, “Fine” or “Not too bad” or “I’m ok thanks” are all fairly standard responses when we are asked how we are… but oh so dull and boring.  Why bother?  It seems that we are on remote response and just blurt out the same old response regardless of how we feel or how our current world is. It’s empty nonsense.

Have you ever been on the receiving end of this situation?  Someone asks “How are you” and you answer “Not well” and then the inquiring person responds with ”Oh that’s good” and walks away.  It’s common place – most people are on remote control with greetings and just expect the same old response.  BUT how does it make you feel to be on the receiving end of this? Typically, this is because the inquirer is not listening because they are too busy, not present, self-absorbed or just not really connected and wanting to truly know.  It makes us feel overlooked, not seen and actually a bit disconnected ourselves.  Yet the power of a greeting and response shouldn’t be overlooked.

Last year I did a 2-week challenge with myself and my world, to not respond with the same old responses and lift my game to see the effect.  The results were extremely surprising!!!
I made a point of responding differently when engaging in my greeting conversations and on this occasion made them very positive!  When people asked me “Hi, how are you?”, I would respond with “Fantastic having an awesome day” or “I’m great, life is good” and “I’m awesome”.  The responses were entertaining, sad, funny and uplifting.

The majority – smiled looked up and suddenly became alive and wanted to know why I was so great or my day was so good – it seemed to uplift them too.  At this point I would ask what was good about them or their day – this made them think hard but also find something good to say or comment on.  The effect was contagious!  My upbeat energy transferred.

The small group of others – didn’t even notice what I said (too far switched off and in remote control and missed the opportunity) or they looked at me suspiciously, as if I was joking or weird, waiting for me to break the positivity!

For me, my responses uplifted me, I caught my own positive energy and felt energised.  It made me smile, it made me feel connected and engaged.

It is a little sad when our normal becomes living amongst others who could do with our care and concern, to be uplifted and to whom we respond in the same unengaged manner.

So, my lesson and one for you is to not confuse this simple engagement with unimportant.  As I learnt over that 2 weeks saying hello and making positive uplifting comments makes a difference to both individuals.  There is a surprising power!  We can help others by demonstrating our care, concern, compassion for just a few moments by truly engaging with others.

So, next time you are out and about or meet friends or work colleagues, raise your engagement, truly acknowledge the person and remind them of the meaning and value of humanity and make a difference to your own life and someone else’s.

Be bold and great!

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