Your Thoughts: A Better Question

“How are you?”

I’d guess this is one of people’s most common greetings. And I’ve found it one of the most meaningless ones. Not that some people who ask this aren’t sincere in wanting a real answer. But it’s usually said as commonly as “hello” and not really intended to be answered…not really. I mentally kick myself when I use it casually.

The truth is, most of us answer, “I’m good, fine,” or some variant of the two, while beneath the mask, we’re struggling, hurting, in pain, grief, feeling the fatigue of life, etc.

i am fine mask

So recently I have tried to do things a bit differently: “What things are new in your life lately?”

And then really listening. And asking questions to keep the conversation going and letting the person know I actually do want to hear. Even if it means stopping what I am doing for a few minutes (these few minutes aren’t mine anyway, they’re His). Even if I can’t do anything to change what they’re telling me.

Sometimes the best way…the simplest way…to show someone who Christ is can be just to listen. With patience and kindness. With interest.

Tell me…what ideas do you have for better ways to open up conversations with people that lets them know you actually want to connect with them, if only for a few moments? I’d like to hear your experiences.

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4 thoughts on “Your Thoughts: A Better Question

  1. “What’s the good word?” I have found to be successful at opening a conversation with people who may be open to conversing. If not they simply ignore the question and answer the greeting with a “hi.” Those who become familiar with me may start greeting me with the same question. Which I answer by quickly reciting John 1:1 in reply. The reactions to that are as varied as the people themselves. But always interesting.

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    • I love it! So you’ve actually been able to quote John 1:1 to various people – that must have led to some interesting conversations! And I wonder what the people around you two were thinking! The power of God’s word… thank you for the answer and thoughts, very good.

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  2. I like to use someone’s name in my greeting. Like when I’m in a store and I see their name tag, I’ll say, Hi _________. Even when on the phone with a sales rep. They usually state their name so I’ll say, Good morning __________. I feel like it adds a special touch to the greeting.

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    • You’re so right – my mom taught me growing up, the most important word to another person is their NAME! 🙂 It really sets you apart right away to use their name and then to remember it when you see them the next time! Thank you for the good comment!

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