“How are you?”
“How was your meal?”
“Do you have a minute?”
There are more “niceties” I am sure. However have your ever really thought about how much you lie and cheat yourself by asking these things when you really don’t care? What does it mean to ask someone about himself or herself and not really be present or engaged? It means you are cheating. Yep that is right you are cheating yourself of bonding more with your truth.
This last year I spent a lot of time traveling. While I was in Canada I was perplexed as to why I couldn’t connect with someone. The Wisdom came from the waiter who explained part of the culture to me. I will call it “Fake Nice.” Ah, this makes sense, you can’t connect when someone else doesn’t want to connect. It’s that simple. It doesn’t matter why, it just matters that you were being authentic in your intentions. That multiplies 100x plus.
What does this really mean, though?
When I was in graduate school, I remember having an intense, passionate conversation with a Japanese exchange student. He was describing what he described as how “out of touch Americans were.” I wanted to know more. As he went on, he described how casual conversations of “how are you?” were so prevalent. People everywhere ask this question. “How are you?” The typical response is “Good, how are you?” Every once in a while people slip and ask again. These people asking, he said, they really don’t care. If they did, when I said I was having a bad day or it was so-so, they wouldn’t just pacify me. Potentially there would be more of an attempt to connect and see if there was anything you could do (this would be my response).
I don’t think most people want to know how others feel. If they did, then the responses would be very different, don’t you think?
Here is where I stand. Do not ask me how am I if you really don’t care. Do not pretend to be interested if you are not. You are not hurting me as much as you are hurting yourself.
One might say, Oh, I don’t think it’s that big of a deal. My question back to you is: Are you sure?
The truth hurts, they say, and the reason is because you don’t get to keep lying to yourself anymore. The reality is that the truth sets you free. Freedom is what this blog is about today. Having the freedom to not ask someone something you really don’t care about. When they take the time and energy to try and connect with you and there is no response.
This Fake Nice has become an epidemic. We pretend we are something we are not (in the moment or connecting or loving or kind etc). It’s a bunch of hokey pokey (you like that one?). We are not honoring what is deep inside of ourselves, our honest to goodness truth. GASP.
I know I said it, but be honest with yourself first. Knock off the passive aggressive attitude and get real within yourself. Start noticing what you are doing and if you still want to continue.
This isn’t about making me feel good. This is about you honoring your voice. Every time you do something that is not IN SYNC inside you weaken every systems in which you operate (home, work, family, friends, social media, etc).
Stand tall and notice when you are Fake Nice, and KNOCK IT OFF!