Don't Ask Me If I'm OK, If You Don't Really Care

We should stop pretending.

2020 has been hard on everyone. No person on this whole planet has been doing great, having a blast, or the best time ever. Not even those who got quarantined on an exotic island with everything they needed. We've all had a few rough months and while some will soon get back to normal, for others it might take a while to get back on their feet. During these months, we all kept in touch with family and friends, via phone, video calls, and social media, and whenever we talked, the first question everyone asked was: "How are you?". GREAT! JUST GREAT!

Everyone's pretending to be doing great.

"I'm doing great. Resting, trying out new recipes, reading, watching movies..." That's what everyone says, not what we're all thinking. Because what we're all thinking is a lot darker, and it would suck out the fun of all conversations. "I'm worried I'm not going to have a job when this ends."; "I don't have enough money to make it to the end of this month."; "I'm worried I might die."; "I'm worried my family might die."; "I can't sleep at night because of these worries."; "I got to see the real face of my spouse and I don't like it"; "I might get a divorce" - these are just some of the real thoughts hiding behind that "I'm great!!!"

We ask each other "How've you been?" all the time.

Whenever we talk to someone, we ask each other "how are you?", as a way of saying hi. It's all superficial because we don't give an honest answer, or care enough to listen to an honest answer. Even between close friends, or family members, we never really ask each other "Are you really OK? How are you handling this? Do you need anything?". And we might all need an honest talk for a change. Because for the past months we've all been great, except for the anxiety, depression, nervousness, sadness, loss, financial problems, and other such tiny details.

We're lying to ourselves and it's exhausting.

We're hiding it from others and it's understandable. We don't want them to worry. We hope we can deal with it ourselves. We are afraid of gossip or judgment - "What will they think?". We're also lying to ourselves because we're too scared to look at our issues straight in the eyes. But not dealing with these demons only allows them to grow. I'm not saying put your thoughts on a banner and display it in the city center. But find someone you trust and let these thoughts out. We can't deal with everything on our own. It's exhausting.

We should stop pretending.

It's so exhausting to always put on a happy face mask when we're out. You meet an old school friend, and you just have to brag, like it's a contest called "who in our class is doing best?". It's exhausting to pretend everything is great. So, if you don't really care, stop asking people "How are you?". And take the time to ask your close ones "Are you really OK? How are you handling this? Do you need anything?". Then, really listen to their answer. And help if you can.

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