A Better Way to Ask “How are you REALLY doing?”

June 25, 2017

That awkward moment. An acquaintance is going through something wrenching like depression, or unemployment, or a messy divorce, and you want to reach out supportively. You know the need goes deeper than a casual “How are you doing?”


With siblings or close personal friends, you can sometimes insist “C’mon, how are you REALLY doing?” But that’s too personal for many situations. You want to respect your friends’ privacy and emotional boundaries. You’re not trying to imply that their nonchalant responses are somehow dishonest, or that it’s your job to be their counselor. You’re also not trying to amplify the implication that they might be weak or struggling. So how can you allow them to open up without prying?


My friend Anne is perky, funny, artistic, generous, and uplifting, despite enduring the slow degeneration of multiple sclerosis since 2001. She has probably heard the question, “How are you doing?” more than 10,000 times from kind folks around her, and here’s what she told me: {Continue Reading at Meridian}

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