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A man walked up to another man and said “how are you?”
The other man said “good, you?”
The man responded “I’m fine”, and they went on with their days.
Is this human at all? Are you guilty of this? Should this change?
There are a few things in this life that would change all of humanity if we would make small changes to the way we’ve done them forever.
The “how are you” principle is one of them
One of my very favorite things in life is when someone routinely says on a zoom call “hey Tyler, how are you”, and instead of ripping some bullshit normality, I pause, I think, and I respond with intense depth that can often make one uncomfortable if you are not used to it.
I will open up about my business, my personal struggles, the handyman who put the door on the wrong way, my kids school teachers. There is no holding back.
Following my response, I always reciprocate the question and say “now that you know exactly how I am, how are YOU?”
90% of the time people respond with a very deep and thoughtful response because I have set the tone for how this routine question should be answered.
They become much more open and vulnerable which allows the rest of the conversation to be filled with candor and authenticity. This allows for truly deep relationships.
10% of the time they say “I’m fine, thanks”. In which I will respond with “no but really, how are you?”
They will then generally proceed with a deep and thoughtful response after noticing that I really care.
It’s amazing how deep you can connect (or disconnect) with other humans by simply changing the way you approach the mutual question of “how are you”.
So connection, huh?
Why are deeper connections exponentially greater than shallow connections? Let me name a few.
- Mental & Physical Health: Deeper connection has been proven to lead to lower rates of anxiety and depression, higher self esteem, greater empathy, and even a strong immune system to fight against bacteria and virus'.
- Source of Strength & Progression: Deeper relationships serve an important function of not simply helping people return to baseline, but helping them to thrive by exceeding prior baseline levels of functioning. This is referred to as "SOS Support".
- Return on Relationship (ROR): The value (perceived and real) that will accrue over time through loyalty, recommendations, and sharing while nurturing a relationships. The best ROR's come when you first try and add as much value to the person on the other side before thinking about how you might benefit from the relationship.
So... next time someone asks you “how are you” give them a real, thoughtful, and honest answer that contains depth and perspective and see what happens.