DO they really mean, how are you? Do they really want to hear how we are? Is it ‘new language’ for just plain everyday, “Hi”? If everything is fine, the quick answer of ‘Ok’ or ‘Fine’ allows the conversation to continue seamlessly. But what if you answer what really is going on? What if you tell them who died, who is sick, who lost a job; well, honestly, are they really asking for the rundown in your life?
Some people really WANT TO KNOW how you are, they really do. But in most case, I believe, it is a courtesy. It can be the same thing when asked how your child with diabetes is, right?
“How is XYZ doing with their diabetes?”
Do most people really want to know how they are doing, or are they asking hoping for some sort of ‘positive’ answer that will allow the conversation to continue?
“XYS is managing…..sometimes….”
“Good, glad everything is okay? What did you guys do this weekend?”
Does this exchange sound familiar at all to you?
I have come to learn over the years, who I know who is REALLY asking how my kids are doing and who is asking as if checking in on a weather report. Sunny? Great. Cloudy? Okay. Storm? Don’t want to hear it.
It used to frustrate me until I started taking mental notes on who was asking, REALLY ASKING; and who really is not asking but wants to be courteous. It was also a very important lesson for me to learn as well.
I learned that I, at times, could be just as I now see others. I really did not want to hear the whole story. Perhaps it’s just human nature. Perhaps we are too much in a hurry. Perhaps we have our own problems and do not want to hear about someone else’s mess. It was a hard lesson learned, Now when I ask, I mean it. If I cannot spend the time, I do not ask.
Of course some people wait for the ask so they can unload every problem under the sun to you. That’s a tough call as well. But for the most part when people ask, I answer and leave the closing of the sentence open-ended enough to answer questions, but closed enough that allows the person an out, if they ‘really’ do not want to hear more than ‘we are doing okay’.
And many times, the people who REALLY do not know, come up with the stupidest way to close the discussion. It has taken me a long, long time to let these comments just roll off me. I don’t get angry anymore.
“They will grow out of it I’m sure.”
“They are just watching what they eat, I’m sure.”
“You are used to it by now.”
“Two kids now, well good thing you had the first one, now you are experts.”
“Must be easier that one is out of the house.”
……………….and on……and on…….and on……and on.
So let it roll off you too. Learn now what took me years to do because it just does not get better. People will say what they want to say to make themselves feel at easy……and that’s okay. Just recognize it for what it is the next time you hear:
“Oh I know exactly, EXACTLY, what you are going through………………………my dog has diabetes.”
I am a diabetes dad.
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