“How are you?” - A question we all ask.
It has become a normal, robotic-like part of introductions.
It is usually answered with a few words, followed by the same question back, and then we move on.
We ask the question meaning well, but we usually don't respond with or get the REAL answer - especially from those who have experienced trauma like the NICU journey or parents who have lost a child.
“How are you?” is a very broad question. A question that is overwhelming to parents who have experienced trauma. You’ll probably get “alright”, “fine” or “well” (there’s a lot more to it, trust me). Since it’s become a staple question in every conversation, it’s responded to in the same way.
Let’s change it up.
Ask “how are you today?”.
By asking a question with a specific time period to someone going through or that has gone through trauma, it allows a door to be opened for them.
It shows you want to hear more than the typical, robotic-like “how are you?” that is asked.
It shows you want to know how they’re doing in that moment and in that day.
It shows you understand today is different than yesterday and today will be different tomorrow.
They may or may not share with you that day.