Asking each other automated questions we both don’t care about; replying with automated answers soon to be forgotten anyway. Talking about the weather as if it is the most interesting thing you have discovered all day. Smiles plastered on our faces as if we are as happy as can be.
I think that it has just become social decorum to hide one’s feelings around others. We do this in order to try and get on with whatever it is we are doing and to not disrupt the people around us. Very polite, isn’t it?
I’m currently reading the novel House Rules by Jodi Piccoult. One of the characters is placed in a situation fairly similar to the one that I have just described.
"There are times when Jacobs’s world makes a lot more sense to me than the one the rest of us live in. Why do we ask people how they're doing when we don’t give a crap about the answer?
Is Mr. Jennison asking me that question because he is worried about me, or because It's something to say to fill up the air between us?
“I’m okay,” I say, because old habits die hard.
If I were like Jacob, I would have answered directly: I can’t sleep at night. And sometimes, when I run too fast, I can’t breathe.
But in reality, someone who asks you how you're doing doesn’t want to hear the truth.
He wants the pat answer, the expected response, so that he can go on his merry way."
I could not have said it any better.
This stood out to me because it is very much like the way that I have been feeling lately - either avoiding most social interaction or braving them with quite some effort. I'm not saying that people don’t care. I’m just saying that the truth is sometimes difficult to handle. For both parties involved.
How would you react if someone told you the real truth, instead of what they think that you want to hear? I have no idea how I would react. What if this happened as I was on my way to class? Or late getting to hospital?
I hardly ever tell the truth about how I am feeling. And sometimes I do wish that someone would sift through my mindless reply and see all that I am hiding.
I guess that I long to be completely vulberable in fornt of someone. But I am also too afraid of this. There too many unknown variables. Like, how they would react to the information. To seeing the real you. Would they turn away? Would they expose you to the rest of the world? Would they care?
Not exactly the most positive outlook on life and on people, I know...
I would love to hear what you think.
Feel free to leave a comment below.