How many times do you ask people this during a regular day? And do you ever take the time to listen for the answer?
I know, it is just a way of saying hello, really. It doesn’t require an answer. So when people answers, it sort of takes away focus from what you were really going to say. Being a “foreigner” I always try to think of something to answer, like “I’m fine, we had a wonderful holiday and everyone is healthy”.
Just before the weekend, I bumped into one of my British colleagues, and went like “Hi! How are you? It’s been so long.” And he started talking about his cancer.
I knew he had been away for some time, and he has had cancer before. Didn’t know he was getting worse again.
The thing is, when you ask a smiling happy question, you don’t expect other answers than the happy smiling ones. And you are not prepared for anything else.
I think he appreciated that I took time to listen. It reminded that I should always be prepared to care.
Hope you have the opportunity to show someone that YOU care today 🙂