What happens when you ask someone "how are you?"and actually wait for an answer?
It happened to me at a Starbucks one morning. Trust me, it's a weird story.
I wake up groggy and mean. Not sure why, but it's been that way for years. My sisters love to tell this awful Christmas morning story about trying to wake me up and getting slapped. I don't recall, but I can imagine it wasn't a pretty sight.
Anyways, I was at this Starbucks doing my normal groggy thing and looking down at my phone, my purse, and everything but anyone's eyes.
There were 3 baristas and the first one, a woman asked me "how are you?" but I'm pretty sure I ignored her completely.
Then, I encountered another barista, who asked "how are you?" I responded with "I'd like a Grande Soy Latte please" and continued to thumb through my phone to find the Starbucks app.
After scanning my app, I moved on to the end of the bar where I awaited my drink, when the 3rd barista asked me "how are you." At that point I knew this had to be a game, or else they all really wanted to know how I was.
Finally I just decided to answer him since he's looking me directly in the eyes, and I really had no where to go to escape his eye gaze. I said "I'm good." Then he asked "what do you have planned for today?" I scanned by brain for the answers and told him the stories of the two meetings I had planned, one with a former colleague that I was excited to chat with and another with a potential promotional partner for my women's group.
The barista congratulated me on my great plans and handed me my coffee. He looked me in the eyes and said "I hope both of your meetings are as great as you hope." With that, I walked out with my coffee.
I started this blog by asking the question "what happens when you ask 'how are you?' and actually wait for an answer." For me, it brought me into the present.
When I walk around groggy and bug-eyed it's because I'm not present in the moment. I'm wishing I was back in bed, thinking about my responsibilities, and focused on the mission of getting my day started.
By asking me about my day, the barista was able to bring me into the moment. I became reflective and thoughtful. And that moment of connection put me in a good mood.
This is what people feel like when you ask "how are you?" and actually wait for an answer.
How do you feel when someone asks "how are you?"