I overheard two men talking on the train this morning. One guy asked the other “how are you?” the man responded ‘well, it’s Friday.’ I had to turn my head to see the bumpus that spoke those words. What exactly does that mean? That is no way to answer a question. I find this so irritating! Just answer the question! Don’t make us guess how you are feeling – or is it that you think no one gives a crap anyway?
People usually don’t believe me when I tell them I am incredibly shy. I am slowly earning self esteem, but I really don’t have the confidence in myself to start a conversation etc. Fortunately, I had parents who forced me to have good social skills. They forced me to be nice to people, to look people in the eye when I had conversations with them. I feel I was lucky to have parents who cared what other people thought. My parents wanted to have kids who were well liked – mom always said it was for our sake. I think she knew it would make our lives easier. There were societal standards to live up to. Expectations. Consequences for our actions. She was right.
I am raising my children with those same expectations. When someone asks you a question, you can answer any way you feel, but you must say something. Because of this, my children respond when people ask them questions. They know how to order food in a restaurant; they know how to ask for more water; they are well liked. I am also teaching my children how to be comfortable NOT answering a question. That it is okay for them to say “I don’t want to answer that question.” They may not be rude about it, they must use their manners – but no one is going to force them to answer a question they aren’t comfortable answering. This may not be relevant to their age today, but it will be relevant later in life. Not only will they know how to be respectful of the other person, but more importantly they will be conscious and respectful of their own feelings.
In today’s society, nobody gives a shit anymore. You can answer a question with “well, it’s Friday” and get away with it. I think it’s crap.