I really have to stop asking people if they are okay.
Touching base with my friends by asking “are you okay?” is a great way to make them feel (even more) compelled to sugar coat their answer and pretend that things are better than they really are, because the answer is clearly supposed to be “yes.”
Except I want the people I love to know that it’s okay to not be okay. So many of us are carrying heavy burdens, and feeling like we need to pretend we aren’t doesn’t make them any lighter. I want to be the kind of friend that invites the uncomfortable truth; the kind of friend who understands that life is messy.
My dear friend Brendan suggested that asking, “how are you doing?” allows for the distinct possibility that the people we love have something less tidy to share and helps to communicate that we care enough to simply listen without judgement.
So, how are you doing?