Today was a bad day.
“How are you doing?” is an important question. My wife will ask me that, or something similar. A doctor. A concerned friend. Sometimes even a lawyer. (And yes, I do ask my clients that every now and then, but not all of them.)
I hate clerks at a grocery store or Target, Wal*Mart, etc., asking me that. I get they are doing it to be polite, but they aren’t interested. I’ve restrained myself on a number of occassions from answering honestly. And trust me, I’ve felt like telling them exactly how I feel. But, I’m too polite and considerate, so either I don’t answer, which I know seems to be the opposite of polite or considerate but it isn’t, or I just mumble something unintelligible.
What would they say if I told them I felt miserable, that sometimes I felt like hurting myself? They aren’t trained to handle the answers. I can’t even imagine what their response would be. Would they call the cops because they thought I might hurt myself? Try to talk to me about my problems? I’m sorry, I’m not talking to somebody who may or may not have gotten a high school diploma (or equivalency) about mental health issues.
So stop asking. Stop trying to impose your happy world upon mine. Even if I didn’t have mental health issues, what if I had just gotten laid off, or something tragic had happened to a family member? There is only one response that is expected, and I refuse to play that game. Ask me anything else. Seriously, I don’t care. It’s best if they want to ask me about my shopping experience. But anything else is much more palatable because one day I will answer honestly.