Smile When Happy

5 comments | March 5th, 2012

(story submitted anonymously, by a Chestist)

We pretty much love this, sent in by one of you. Here's what she's thinking about "hi, how are you?"

Sometimes I think politeness has ruined honesty.

It's expected that you ask someone how they're doing whether or not you care and that they say "fine, thanks" whether or not they are. It doesn't mean much when someone says "have a nice day," because in the service world, it's basically a verbal twitch. Also, not to hate on one of my all time favorite things, but smiling (not the real ones) is getting a little out of hand. I think all this fake-happy, fake-fine, fake-consideration is making people feel lonely and get in the practice of lying to people.

I think that if we were all honest and just stopped using ridiculous words like "fine" altogether, smiled when happy, and asked questions when curious, we'd all feel a lot more at home in the world.

You find yourself hiding yourself behind false platitudes and politeness?  Is it hiding or is it just being part of society?  Do you think we'd (you'd) feel better and ore at home in the world if we let honesty replace convention?  Let's #discuss.


  • Ellie

    Posted on March 5, 2012

    I SWEAR this just happened last week. I had to call someone for business. I know her pretty well but we’re not friends outside of work. She gets on the phone and I say “hi, how are you?” She answers “everything’s fine” in a way that made me think everything wasn’t fine and so I said “you don’t sound fine, are you okay.” And then she said “oh, we all have problems, I have mine, you have yours, why do you want to hear about mine?”

    She was right. I didn’t really want to hear about her problems. Not that I don’t care, that’s just not the relationship we have. I was polite. She was honest.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted on March 5, 2012

    I don’t think pleasantries are lying to people. They’re like dog’s sniffing butts — just what we do.

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    • Dot+Dash

      Posted on March 5, 2012

      Both sides of this make sense to me. Hard to imagine what it’d erally be like if we all were just totally honest all the time.

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  • Momof2

    Posted on March 5, 2012

    When my kids were babies, I had a really hard time. They couldn’t tell you what they wanted. They didn’t come with an instruction booklet. I was out of my depth.
    Now, this may have been my projection, but it seemed that all the other moms were always “fine”. It made me nuts. I wanted other people to commiserate and say, “This is really hard.” I felt isolated and like a failure. Now that I am past the baby stage, I find that other people are willing to admit it was no picnic. I say, BE HONEST! We all need reality checks.

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  • Liza

    Posted on March 5, 2012

    I live in a small community. When I go running, no one says hello or good morning. What’s up with that? I always do, and not everyone answers me. I want pleasantries, even if they’re fake.

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