Ever get sick of people asking questions they don’t want the answers to? These are people who tell you things you want to hear – simply because you want to hear them. I mean, did I ask them to care? And even on the odd occasion that I did ask them, must they lie? I mean is the lie really easier? Think about it. When people think you care they’ll keep bothering you with their issues. So if its simplicity you desire, keep it frank and state that you aren’t really interested in their problems to begin with; and other than a momentarily bruised ego, blistered feelings and an awkward silence, there’s not much long term damage done.
Then there are people who love you so much they constantly ask you questions they want you to answer in the positive to. Are you OK? Is everything OK? And of course the ever so important affirmation – You SURE you OK? And to these people OK means downright ecstatic.
It is interesting to note that the etymology of the word OK is ambiguous at best. Despite the journals and extensive study devoted to finding its root, how it came in play in everyday lingo still mystifies most linguists. How then can we encapsulate all that we feel at any given time to one rather random word – OK?
God forbid you should say no you’re not OK. They’re brow will crinkle and worry will seep past their pupils at such an alarming rate that you yourself must now employ lies to retreat from it. Family are often guilty of this. Is it a crime to be just sad, or just confused? Maybe something more positive. Just pleasant, or just calm, but must we all be dancing and grinning like happy fools all the time? Can’t we have serious moments occasionally; contemplative; solemn; prayerful; meditative; nostalgic; dazed or even just plain indifferent? Does everything have to be positive all the time? Do I have to have sunshine in my eye and a song in my heart like the wide eyed kids in the ‘Sound of Music’? Even the Von Trapp family had hard times for crying out loud! Interesting to note that not everyone remembers the second half of that movie.
Worst yet are the folks who ask no questions at all but assume they know you well enough to spew wisdom like it was free. I have news: NO, it is not free.
You have to pay for it with the pints of blood that ooze through your eardrums. These loving souls just want you to know that every decision you have ever made has been the wrong one, because if it weren’t, you would have that darn smile on your face and the rays of joy would be shinning out from where the sun can’t possibly shine from.
Now this may be a rant, but I have to be true to myself and state the few exceptions:
- When genuine people ask genuine questions to express love, care, concern and turn that to needful advice, soothing comfort or plain companionship – they should be treasured. But these are truly a rarity.
- When questions like ‘are you ok?’ are asked by relative strangers – then it has taken the form of greeting or small talk and should not be taken literally.
- When assumptions are made and advice given based on that person’s frame of reference. Those who advice are usually trying to empathize and it makes sense to try and decipher the lesson that person has learnt and is trying (however misguidedly) to impart.
A good rant is therapeutic – actually makes me feel more OK than I did before.