“How are you?”
I had a boss once who told a client to never give anything but a positive answer to, “How are you?” The rationale was something along the lines of: It’s not appropriate to be anything less than fine. In fact, if you want to make friends and draw opportunities to yourself you should be more than fine, you should be fantastic! And you should answer with enthusiasm.
Maybe it was my perspective filtering what she said. I hope so. And I hope other’s didn’t hear the same thing I did.
I cringe thinking about the terrible pressure to be WONDERFUL! Fake fine/fantastic/great/wonderful is a terrible thing. It’s inauthentic. It’s isolating. It’s really annoying when you see it all over someone’s Facebook updates.
In certain context, yes, it is advantageous to outwardly appear to be fine or better. I admit, I’ll often tell you “I’m fine.” (Except for this post where I was honest about having a bad day.) I don’t hide behind fine out of fear or laziness. I hide behind fine because I want to control my reputation. I want to shape your opinion of me.
Because I don’t think you’ll accept me if I’m less than fine.
Pushing the ugly stuff under the bed and into the closet means you can meet, know, love, and connect with the good parts of Kasey, but that’s it. And there are serious limits to what qualifies as “the good parts.” Like, I have to think they are the good parts. But the ugly parts THEY ARE IMPORTANT PARTS.
Imagine a woman who never has a bad hair day, who always says the right thing in social situations, who wears the right clothes, says the right thing, is successful in her job, loves children and chooses the right people to be her friends. A woman who never fails. Do you want to be her friend?
NO! Because she is completely intimidating and - oh man - can you imagine if a perfect person judged you based on the standards she clearly holds herself to? Yikes!
So why on Earth would I try to be that woman?
And why do I, like so many others, feel like I need to be that woman or I’m not enough.