It is a pretty standard question:
"So, how're you doing? How was your weekend?"
At work I'm involved different projects and work with different groups. Some of the people I interact with I only see once every two weeks or so. They are my peers: girls my age, although at different life stages (married, unmarried, children, no children, etc). We had a group experiment yesterday morning and two girls I haven't seen in a few weeks were there. Of course, the first thing one asks is:
"So, how're you doing?"
I was honest in my answer and summarized what's been going on (house issues, family issues, financial stuff, insurance stuff, health issues, etc). Honestly, its a lot. A lot at once. But I wasn't too negative. After all, it is what it is.
But how does one respond when you actually get a REAL answer to that question and it isn't a good one?
And conversation stopper, right there.
So I've concluded that people really don't want to hear how you're doing, unless its good. At least, the casual acquaintances do not really want to hear it. They want to hear that things are good, laugh about a good movie everyone saw recently, maybe chat about BP oil, and move on. But really heavy personal stuff? Nah.
Problem is, its hard for me to censor myself because I have a lot on my mind right now. And I can't answer 'things are great', because they aren't.
"Oh, a tree fell on my house and insurance isn't covering it all. I'm living in the Money Pit and everything around me is breaking down. My family life is a huge stressor right now and I don't know exactly how to respond. And I think the only possible thing that could make the situation worse is if my husband or I lost our jobs."
"Things are great! Have you seen that new Leonardo movie? I heard its great."
Gotta learn to just choose response 2 and keep quiet....