How are you? Such a simple question. We must ask a dozen people each day, and a dozen people ask us the same question. The typical response is, “I’m fine.” I suppose it’s polite to make such pleasantries, but why the avoidance of what’s really going on? Is it just a habit to say we’re fine, without even considering how we are really doing? The unspoken rule is that we act like everything is going well. It’s assumed that the people who ask how we are don’t really want to know how we are doing; they just want to be polite.
What’s unfortunate is that we are so accustomed to saying we are fine, that we are clueless as to how we are actually feeling. What if someone asked, “How are you?” You actually stopped for a second and thought to yourself, how am I? And then instead of the obligatory “I’m fine,” you took a risk and actually communicated how you felt? Imagine the reaction if you responded, “Oh I’m having a rough time. My cat just died.” Or “Super! I just booked a trip to Europe.” You might startle yourself and the person who asked. The people asking how you are doing may not want an honest answer. They may just be making polite conversation.
Here’s what I’d suggest: spend some time considering how you are doing. Do you truly feel it is a good day or a bad day? Are you angry, anxious, happy, or sad? Take a moment to connect with the person who is asking and give an honest response. You’ll feel much better for sharing. And the next time you ask someone how they are, make a point of looking them in the eye to let them know you are truly interested in them. You’ll be surprised at how open they will be with you, too. If you really don’t want to hear how the person is, by all means, continue on with your pleasantries – just sayin.’
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Annoying Love Themes
Valentine’s Day is the time of year when husbands, fathers, and sons run ragged, scratching their heads trying to be romantic. It’s interesting how the onus is on the man to prove his love and devotion. Florists, jewelers, and bakers thrive at this time of the year. When men are trying to figure out what is considered romantic without being cheesy, they tend to rely on popular culture for their ideas. Unfortunately, what mainstream culture portrays as romantic may not be representative for the general population (female population). Below is a list of four themes that can easily backfire.
- Love Quote – The worst quote is from the movie Jerry Maguire: “You complete me.” I’ve never understood why this is considered so heartfelt. If you believe that you need to love yourself before you can truly love someone else, then how on earth is it possible for someone else to complete you? I understand I may be a cynic, but I prefer being whole. If you say this to your valentine, she may or may not appreciate the sentiment.
Love Song – I twitch just thinking about this song, Celine Dion’s hit from the movie
- Love Song – I twitch just thinking about this song, Celine Dion’s hit from the movie Titanic, “My Heart Will Go On.” Please don’t play this song for your valentine. I pray it won’t be playing at a restaurant during a romantic evening. Maybe it is because the song was overplayed, but I can’t even listen to more than two beats before I change the channel or leave. Spare yourself and your date, and don’t play this song.
- Love Story – The ultimate love story of all time is Romeo and Juliet. It’s been told a dozen times in more modern formats. I know the ending, but I still get sucked in every time. SPOILER ALERT: they both die! How on earth is this considered romantic? Why does every love story end in such tragedy? What kind of message are we sending about love anyway? Can’t we just have a happy ending (no pun intended)?
- Fairytale – Cinderella is what every girl grows up wanting to be: a beautiful princess who meets her charming prince. I’m very confused about this one. First of all, how uncomfortable must it be to dance in a glass slipper? Then, how do you lose a glass slipper? You didn’t have one second to pick it up? Instead, you hobble along and waste time walking with one heel? Then Prince Charming finds the glass slipper and tracks down the princess it fits. Really? Do you know how long it would take to find a woman who fits a size 7 glass slipper? Wouldn’t it be easier to just ask if anyone knew who she was?
The best advice is to be present as your best present. Enjoy quality time with your loved one and show your thoughtfulness and appreciation.