The question no one answers honestly

fakesmileWalk into any store and you are warmly greeted with a friendly “Hello, how are you doing?”

Cultural nuances across the globe aside, the one and only correct answer to this question is: “I’m doing great, thanks.”

Now this is interesting. The shopkeeper is a person who you probably have never met before. You do not know anything about this person, yet you tell him something very personal. “I’m doing great.”

Now imagine you walk out of the store and you meet an acquaintance. “Hey there, how are you doing?” And you answer the person with: “Good, I’m doing good”.

After a short conversation you continue your own way. Then your mobile rings. It is your friend. “Hey, how are you?” You answer: “I’m doing okay”.

You hang up again and you walk into the house of your sister. “Hey there, how are things?” You sit down and answer “I’m doing so so” and you talk about the many concerns you have.

Then, at the end of the day, you crawl into your bed and ponder about your life. You don’t feel very well. You are scared. You feel like a total failure. You don’t know what you’re doing with your life. Your inner

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voice asks you:“How you are doing?” And you cry: “REALLY REALLY BAD!!!”

This is an interesting phenomenon. You tell people you do not know

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at all that you are doing great. But to people closer to you you start painting a grimmer picture. And this increases the closer these people are to you. And it is the worst with yourself!

This has puzzled me for a long time. Why do we behave like this? I really don’t know. It doesn’t make sense to me. At first hand, it looks like we become more honest the closer people are to us. But is that really so?

No, it isn’t. When we talk to the shopkeeper, we are also honest! The only difference is that we take different variables into the equation that calculates our happiness.

*to be continued*

photo: ikmick

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