Thursday, July 29, 2010

They really don't want to know

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?

"Wow....that sucks...."

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.

How're things?

"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....


  1. i never had THIS much going on and definately not at the same time but i can understand how people shy away from listening to your problems, unfortunately. well not all the people. I noticed only people who can relate in some way or had similar/same experience themselves would listen and understand and want to talk... it just it is how it is. Even people that really care about you , if they never experienced what you are going through they will not truly understand it. But at least they wil be there for you and listen and talk and care :)
    So like you said - either filter away your responses depending on who you talk to , or dont filter but ignore the reactions, since they plainly do not understand

  2. I find that to be true also. I think in some cases there are some people (in my world anyway) that really could do even something small that would be positive to help you out and feel guilty knowing they aren't going to make time to do that, so they don't like to hear anything other than everything is fine.

  3. We had a year like this last blah blah. I would cry while I was driving because I just couldn't comprehend one more thing happening, then it did. It got to the point of hysterical laughing b/c surely this was a cruel joke. I wish I could say something poetic about lessons learned, for the best, and all that crap. But honestly, it just sucks. It sucks being a grown up. This year has been better. It won't go on like this forever. But it does suck.

    And that is what blogging if for. Because yes, we are reading and yes, we want to know. And yes, it is therapeutic just to get it out sometimes.

    You are so correct! No one wants the real answer. I just say either "we're hanging in there" or "you know" with a shrug. What I really want to say is: "are you kidding me? I am covered in throw up and I haven't slept for 3 months. Plus....". but I don't.

  4. Thank you, ladies. That's why I just let things out. Its just been a really rough year and I don't see an end in sight just yet. But I know there will be one...eventually...