The Post-40 Bloggers’ writing prompt this week asked a simple question – “How are you?” The question was stunningly answered by blogger Hilary Farrow. Ed

Whenever you see someone, you automatically ask “How are you?” We don’t generally expect a real answer, we place emphasis on certain parts of the phrase to elicit the response we expect. A general murmur of “Fine, thank you. Any you?” is what we hope to hear.

Of course, if we are trying to bring comfort, then the emphasis is on the you, and the expected response is probably “As well as can be expected” which far too often we let people get away with. With everything that is going on in the world, in peoples’ lives and with rising awareness of Mental Health and the importance of talking, we should reach out more and dig a little deeper behind the expected response. Especially if we know that something has been going on in some-one’s life.

So, Post40 bloggers asked. “How are you?” – No, really, how are you?

Material from former blog Thinking of You and Me