Lately, my answer to being asked ‘How are you doing?,’ has been
I’m good; busy…
There is a lot packed into such a short statement. Someone has just taken their time to ask how I am doing, wanting to know what I am feeling, and if I would like to share with them.
What are the many reactions to this answer of ‘I’m good; busy…?’
I mean to say, how is this answer being received?
Am I stating that my life and business are so good that I don’t have much time for anything else?
Am I portraying that I am so busy keeping up with everything and everyone, that it feels good?
Let me introduce a concept that is around us all the time and we aren’t aware its happening. And I think that is why I have subconsciously started telling everyone how busy I am.
1. Our society values success and accomplishment
And at the same time
2. Friends and businesses want your attention.
And they can have it because our cell phones always pull us away. So when everything is happening at once, we feel so busy.
And here is the ugly concept — that we actually compete to be busy.
I’m guilty of it sadly. I tell people how hard I worked (or overworked) all the time. And I hate it when a boss, or co-worker, doesn’t show that they want to take a little bit of time to spend with me to connect over work. It feels like the son who wants to learn to play catch with his dad that is too busy for him.
Too often I meet with friends and we have to preface that we are ‘busy,’ to show that we are out there conquering the world. If we aren’t ‘busy,’ then are we lazy, sick, mediocre, or uninterested? Come on, these are friends we are talking about. Good friends are here to support and keep me accountable, and more importantly here to have a good time with!
But what my actions are saying is that I don’t have the time, attention, or energy to connect with you right now because I have all these other things grabbing my attention.
And that is why it feels so wrong to give an answer like that. Look, we can’t connect with everyone we meet, and we shouldn’t. But we can connect to some people for short periods of time, and we should all be connecting with friends for decades at a time.
The good news is that we can connect to each other. When we share our struggles, our real struggles, with those who care and support us, we are able to connect.
Another reason that the answer ‘I’m good; busy,’ comes out of my mouth is because I don’t care for small talk. Small talk is like busy work. I want to know you, connect with you, and understand you.
So, today, when someone asks about ‘How I am doing,’ I will give a more authentic answer. It would be something like this:
Thanks for asking, let me take a moment to reflect on my well being….(take a moment to check in on self, emotionally, physically, spiritually) because I have been busy today.
Let’s start using this question of how we are doing, into a reminder to check in with ourselves. If I don’t did the time to check in on my busy life, then how can someone else really connect with me?