“Hey man! How’s it going?”

“Good, you?”

This is a social exchange that happens daily. While there’s nothing wrong with asking how a person is doing, there is something about this that drives me INSANE—we as people are never honest when we answer this question. Our immediate gut response is, “good.” The reason? We don’t really care when we ask the question. Think about the last time you asked that question. When you asked it, did you really want to know how that person was going, or did you just want to acknowledge their existence as a person not to be rude? Nine times out of ten, I guarantee you that you didn’t actually want to know how that person was doing. This bugs me, and I have been 1000% guilty of this at times. (Yes. 1000%, not 100.)

When I realized that I didn’t really care when I asked this question, it made me want to start caring about people more. For me, I can be incredibly selfish with my time, and asking this question and not meaning it was mainly out of selfishness and not wanting to make time for people. I decided I wanted to turn this around. I did this by asking the question, waiting for people to respond with, “good”, and then asking, “are you really good, or are you just saying that because it’s what you’re supposed to say?” The question threw off a lot of people, but normally they were thankful that I meant it, and then gave an honest answer. I heard other words like, “awful”, “great”, “awesome”, “ok”, and “meh.” After this, we would be able to engage in a meaningful conversation, even if brief, and I was able to encourage them, or let them share why their day was so great. It deepened my friendships, and made acquaintances know each other better. In this life, sometimes we get so wrapped up into ourselves and our world that we forget how nice it is to be encouraged or have someone to share in our excitement about something.

So remember to be genuine when you ask the question, “how’s it going?” Also remember the next time that somebody asks, “how’s it going?” You’re probably not just “good.” None of us are.