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Trust: The questions we ask, and the answers we receive, rarely tell the full story.
Posted by Douglas, Oct 19, 2007. 15302 views. ID = 195


Posted by Douglas, Oct 19, 2007. 15302 views. ID = 195
This post was written in 9 minutes.
I was thinking about some teenagers I know when I wrote this...
This post has been awarded 102 stars by 23 readers.

Ask me "How are you?" and I'll tell you "Fine." Ask me "How's it going?" and I'll say "Great." I'll even throw in a "How 'bout you?" and expect to hear the same in return.

But sit with me for just a while; look into my eyes, watch my face, wait for the fleeting smile that never comes. Tell me a joke, and notice that I don't laugh when you think I should. Tell me a story and watch my smile come in all the wrong places, and the tears, when you least expect them.

Talk to me for just a minute. When I scowl and turn up my nose, walking away without an answer, stare at my retreating back with bewilderment. But even though you don't understand, forgive me, and tomorrow try to talk to me again. Watch me laugh and cry again, and then maybe, just maybe, if you ask me "What's wrong?" instead of "How's it going?"...

I might just tell you.

Copyright 2007 Douglas. All rights reserved. has been granted non-exclusive rights to display this work. For permission to reprint this item, please contact the author.

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Josiah T.
Oct 19, 2007
Ah, yes. I know exactly what you mean. The question is empty and meaningless. I hate it when people ask me that question, because they don't care! (Usually)
   ~Posted by Josiah T., Oct 19, 2007

Oct 20, 2007
Perfect! That's exactly it! Sometimes it's nice to have someone who will take that extra step to observe how I really feel and probe a little deeper.

But this can't just be a teen thing, can it?
   ~Posted by Katie, Oct 20, 2007

Oct 20, 2007
I don't think the question is meaningless and's simply habitual. And as often as not it's the person who is the recipient of the question who chooses to interpret it as habitual rather than real, even if the questioner actually wanted a truthful answer.

The focus of the piece really is not the question (even though it starts and ends with it), but a person with conflicted emotions whose personal interactions are colored by that confusion.

And no, Katie, I don't think it's just teens who have those kinds of conflicted emotions...I just was thinking of particular people (who happened to be teens) when I wrote this! :)
   ~Posted by Douglas, Oct 20, 2007

Oct 23, 2007
So... What is wrong?
   ~Posted by Mathax, Oct 23, 2007

Jun 12, 2008
I know that I am guilty of giving the "fine" answer when really deep down I know I am not fine I just dont want to get in a deep discussion. Being a teenager it seems like adults just want to pry alot but then I think about it and realize that they really care they just want to know how you are doing trulfully.
   ~Posted by Kalie-j, Jun 12, 2008

May 8, 2009
good one. It remind me of when I was a teen
   ~Posted by mj1995, May 8, 2009

Jan 24, 2010
This sums up how I've been feeling lately. Problem is, its very rare to come across people who really will make the effort. With how busy we are these days, one can't really blame anyone for it. Still, there's always that part of you that wants to find it, and the fact that its so rare would only make it that much more special.
   ~Posted by tensoon, Jan 24, 2010

Feb 7, 2012
I really liked this...
   ~Posted by MissAnnie, Feb 7, 2012

du courage
Nov 8, 2013
Moving and so true!
   ~Posted by du courage, Nov 8, 2013

Feb 21, 2015
Loved it. This is a legitimate description of the world today. Great work.
   ~Posted by AmnesiacWithAName, Feb 21, 2015

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