Feeling that those around us are busy with their own affairs, with no time for anything else, is a frequent sensation for many people. The current life has a fast pace and the days disappear from the calendar at a good speed. Almost everyone has a hard time making a stop on the road, leaving parked “the shoulds and duties” a moment and think about those around us.
Sometimes only one How are you? It can become the gateway to intimacy with the people we love. However, sometimes we are so focused on ourselves, on how we are doing at work, at the university or how we are going to focus our next projects, that we lose the north.
When someone looks us in the eye and sincerely asks us how we are, we usually feel that feeling of joy that emanates from feeling recognized, transcendent, relevant, worthy.
The love we give and receive from our environment makes life much more meaningful.
If we stop to think about this reality, we will realize that other vital areas are much more superficial and that the reinforcement that can provide us is more ephemeral. However, the social support is profound and highly rewarding. Without social support it is difficult, for example, a good self-esteem.
The value of a how are you?
The courage to ask someone How are you? in a transparent and frank way it is deposited in the words, but it does not reside in them. Their importance comes from the interest they reveal. To perceive that another person is interested in us feeds our self-esteem. It is something inherent to the human being.
Millions of years ago, if we were not accepted in our tribe, we had enough chances of not surviving in an environment plagued by beasts and adversities. However, teaming with others of our same species, guaranteed that survival.
Therefore, the fact that they take us into account, is burned into our genes. Therefore, attention from others is a great gift that can take us in a matter of minutes of sadness or the feeling of emptiness.
On the other hand, it is not a purely bidirectional issue. That is, if I want to increase the probability that others are interested in me, ask me how I feel and lend their help when I need it, obviously, I have to do the same with them.
But in a genuine way and not for convenience waiting for the return. This point is very important because it reflects sincere love towards others. If this does not happen, I will hardly find my expectations towards how others should behave with me satisfied. If we want to receive love, we must give it ourselves first.
Steps to undertake genuine interest
Caring for others and being interested in us is not a simple goal to travel. As we have explained before, sometimes the pace is so fast that it is very difficult to get out of trouble to look around us. Inertia invites us to stay focused, to maintain our tunnel vision.
In this dynamic, it is not uncommon for us to wake up one day and realize that the people who counted on us no longer do so. We have told you that not many times, we have prioritized them much less.
To broaden our view, we can take a series of steps that rescue the manifestation of our genuine interest in others.
- Obligate to ask at least two people each day How are you? o How is your life going? You can put it as an exercise to see if you are really capable. People tend to monopolize conversations with others by talking a lot about ourselves: our work, our partner, our children. This “yoyoism” does not allow us to decentralize, learn from others and promote help if the other feels frustrated or unhappy.
- Think that being interested in others makes you happier. Many times we put happiness in banal things. We think “I’ll be happy when I find the job of my dreams”, “I’ll be happy when I approve the opposition”, “I’ll be happy when I get married”. It is true that all these reasons generate us a certain well-being and it could be said, happiness. In that we agree. The problem is that as soon as we adapt to the new situation, a new “baseline” is created in us and we need something more again. It is ephemeral well-being. However, maintaining social relationships based on loyalty and truth keeps us happy most of the time.
The writer Leon Tolstoy when he said that he who helps others helps himself.
- Everything comes back. When you become someone who shows interest in others, your world changes. If before all seemed to go “to your ball”, now you will realize that you receive more messages, more calls, more visits and in short, more attention. Reciprocity occurs. This union with others brings us numerous benefits: it increases our self-esteem, our psychological well-being, it helps us in our projects, we can learn new things and it even increases our immune system.
- Avoid your own affairs. Sometimes, focusing on other people can be a relief. When one is only aware of their own history, they may end up exhausted. Try from time to time to evade yourself and rest by embarking on the stories of others. It can be more interesting than you think. Ask your foreign work partner why he decided to live in your city, ask your mother why she fell in love with your father or why they chose your name and not others. Sometimes the stories of others may surprise you.
- Act. Start today to ask your environment How are you? And not only that: act with your behaviors. Invite a family member to a cafe who has not seen you for a long time, say something to a worker who looks tired or cheers, listens to a friend without interrupting, smiles at your neighbor in the elevator, today you take a break from work and share it . There are many things you can do to lean on others. Remember: like the boomerang effect, (almost) everything returns.
As you can appreciate, the authentic interest for the neighbor usually becomes a deep well-being towards oneself. Happiness comes largely from the accompaniment of our peers and it is therefore necessary to cultivate this attention.
A sincere look, a gesture of reaching out and a feeling that without words, is able to say “here I am if you need me” can be more valuable than any other material thing. Descentrarnos ourselves makes us free, human and consequently, people immersed in relationships based on love and truth. Is not it worth trying?