Maybe we can all learn to rephrase the question, how are you doing? Or to at least, hear the question differently. What interesting things are happening with you? How are you holding up? How is your heart today?
Omid Safi offered the following advice:
“One of the things that breaks my heart, whether in the corporate world or in the academic world, is that I ask my friends, “How are you doing?” and all I get in answer is this head nod, “You know, I am so busy, so busy.” And I feel like, “You told me nothing.”
How do we remember that we are human beings, not human doings? When someone asks you, “How are you?” Don’t shout back your to-do list. I am not asking what do you need to get done today. If we have to rephrase it, what I am really asking is, “How is your heart today?”
Take that risk with the people who deserve it, who are worthy of it, make yourself vulnerable to them, actually tell them, actually share with them: “I am really struggling today. I am doing my very best, but I can really use a hug.” You might just find that it changes the dynamic of your connection with them.”