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Archive for May 12th, 2008

Mean it when you say it…

 

I have traveled the world, been to China, Japan, Brazil, England, Germany and Australia. Now I am not telling you this to lift myself, but rather to illustrate a point. The one question I a, always asked is “Why do American sat How are you to every one they talk to?”.

 

I found it odd that they did not, and they find it odd that we do. One of my fellow workers from the UK was shocked and very pleasantly pleased when she came here for 2 week and each and every morning was asked how she was. She was, as the saying goes, tickled pink.

 

Her comments where one of total and utter amazement that they even cared, so it broke my heart to tell her, that in truth, they most likely don’t, that they most likely are just saying HI…

 

We had a long and drawn out conversation on the American, or at least the Midwest, tradition of asking how you are, when all they really are saying is Hi.

 

To prove this point, and to do a non-scientific experiment, I started to tell people how I was. The out come was interesting at best, the results, although not shocking. People really did not care how I was, in-fact, they most likely where not even paying any attention to you,

 

The typical person will, in passing, say “How are you”, not even look up, nor stop and wait for your response. And in return, most people will respond to the question, with the same question.

 

So, I, in the name of science, and to have a little fun, started to respond the question with my true feelings at the time, and the recipients was not prepared. It was fun and funny…

 

Not one person really cared how I was, but rather all they expected was a nice, “How are you” in response, and all would be well.

 

But that brings me to my point, in my world travels, as I explained this overriding question is “Then why bother asking, if you really don’t care”?

 

Good question! And one that I really can’t respond to; but I can tell you one thing, I decided to really mean the question.

 

So for the past few years, when I ask someone “How are you” I would stop and wait for a response, now I don’t always get one, but I sometimes do.

 

So now when I travel, and I am asked the question, I can respond with, “Well I can’t respond for everyone, but as for me, I really do mean it”.

 

Mean it when you say it, that’s a good lesson…

 

Paul

 

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