How are you? is the most asked question not only in greetings, but also amongst friends. Not many know exactly what the purpose, intent or meaning of this very phrase is. Is the person asking really interested? Does the person really want to spend time talking about worries and problems? Or is it simply easier for the sake of both communicators involved to agree on both people’s well-being?
Indeed, it is easier! No doubt about it. But a friendship is not built for passing on quickly. A true friendship takes its time to show engagement, to show concern and to suggest solutions for everyone’s benefit.
There might be a reason why there are so many friends fighting, discussing furiously and betraying each other. If just asked How are you? sincerely and answered honestly with true feelings, thousands of issues could be dissolved in a single moment. Problems would disappear as swiftly as falling leaves.
If friends took the time to care about each other and not themselves in the first place, thousands of slanders would be avoided. Simply by a genuine conversation starting with the question: How are you?
I value my friends more than many other things combined. My friends make me feel fulfilled. They are the missing part of my personality and the joining part of my humour, talent and maturing procedure. Luckily, I have managed rarely get caught up in fights with friends. As a matter of fact, a fight would never be an option as a form of conversation.
What is the purpose of keeping a friendship that offers nothing but fights, tears and pain?
As a half-Chinese living in the modern European society, I face lots of different forms of friendships, lots of different people from lots of different cultures. Talking about my personal experiences, I have to say that ending of a friendship might bring tears, but also relief afterwards. It enriches my life and makes me understand different cultures more profoundly.
Valuing somebody for a period of time does not mean that the person does not change or that the connections last. I once thought so of a sincere friend: She is my best friend and nothing could tear us apart, because nobody knows me better than her. When I look back, I’ll have to admit that it is a mistake to think this way. Plus, misreading different cultures might play a role leading to the ending of a friendship.
It shows maturity to end a friendship the way relationships are ended. The beginning, the sustaining and the valuing of a friendship are not the only ways of gaining experience. In fact, the ending of a relationship can help mark a great leap forward in growth, especially for young people who need to learn how to put up with abrupt situations. Ending of friendships or relationships could be beneficial for their mental development as well as their emotional strength.
It might be easy to be surrounded by people who possess strong charisma, by those who show a strong influence. Yet, bad influence happens often. For an adolescent to identify a source of bad influence and to find the best way of eliminating it, the challenge is big.
Deep thought and reflection. That is what the world needs. How are you? This is an honest question from me to you.
Everyone deserves a chance to share their feelings. Friendship is the most appropriate place for it. Don’t be shy to express your thoughts, and don’t be shy to end a friendship, either. The latter might push you to a corner and force you to be clinical.
Just tell me, how are you?
October 15th 2017