“How are you?” has shifted from a point of conversation to a meaningless reflex. If you think about how many times you ask that question every day, you may realize it’s no longer achieving its point. “How are you?” could open up a can of worms. It could allow for meaningful discussion. It could give you the opportunity to talk about your psyche.
But so often, people respond like robots: “I’m good. How are you?” It becomes a pointless conversation –a mere exchange of wasted words. Instead, we could use it as an opportunity to get to know someone better or to express how we’re really feeling. There are many benefits of being comfortable with expressing your emotions; here are five of them!
Be Free (and Free Others, Too)
You don’t realize it, but when you stifle your emotions, you stifle your freedom. You should feel free to express yourself at every phase of life. As soon as you allow yourself to be comfortable with your true self and your true feelings, you open up the door for others to be comfortable with you, too.
Tear Down Your Fears
If you’re afraid of showing your emotions, stand up to them. Tell them that you’re not scared of them. Those feelings may be new and utterly foreign to you, but by confronting them, you’re tearing down the sense of fear.
Be Authentic to Yourself
The real “you” comes with all of the feelings and emotions you’re experiencing. Be true to that, and don’t let the feelings get in the way. You may feel like your true self is one that doesn’t come with baggage – that would be great, but no one is like that! We all come with goods and bads, and in order to honor the authentic “you,” you need to be able to express your emotions openly and honestly.
Add Flavor to Your Life
Believe it or not, being more honest and expressive can help you live life to the fullest more. It allows you to be you and to enjoy who you are more. If you’re stifling your feelings or being ashamed of them, you’re not living life to the fullest. Add flavor to your life by showing who you really are.
Get Closer to Others
Everyone feels emotions on different levels. No one knows precisely what you’re going through, but people can relate to some degree. When you open up to others, you get closer to them. You can bond over shared emotions, or you can ask them for advice on your situation. Either way, intimacy, and friendship is always enhanced when you’re able to open up more.
The next time someone says, “How are you?” think twice about your answer. Your reflex may be to say you’re good, but maybe if you tell them how you really are (exhausted, over-the-moon, nervous, excited, etc.), you’ll have a more in-depth conversation with them – and you’ll free yourself to be able to talk about how you really feel!