Monday, November 24, 2008

How Was Your Day?

Self-absorption is the enemy of social interaction. We all tend to take ourselves too seriously at times, but if we make it a trend, eventually we repel those around us.
One way people, unconsciously push others away is simply by framing a day's events in a self-absorbed manner. When someone asks on an average day, "How was your day?" consider who is asking and why. The question is usually a conversation starter. The person asking is wanting to connect with you and how you answer will tell her if you are open to connect, or if you really just want to vent and are ignoring her. Below are some answers I've gotten recently that made me think I should have not started the conversation with "How was your day?".

Top Four Lousy Answers:

4.) "How was your day?"
"Oh, (sigh) it's hard..."
This person is out of touch. Nobody, not even the love of your life or your mother, wants to hear what you say next. They are probably tired of your constant complaining, and maybe even feel sorry for you (who wants to be pitied?).

3.) "How was your day?"
"Hard. I ran into this idiot..." This answer reveals a sense of entitlement. Your day did not go as well as you expected, because of others' failures.

2.) "How was your day?"
(pause) "Hmm. Good..."
You want to complain very badly, but you won't, and you want to make sure your listener knows how saintly you can be.

1.) "How was your day?"
"Never Better!"
Really? You may be coming across disingenious.

Answers that lead to better social connections would sound like the following:

"How was your day"
"Not so great, but I'm so glad to see you. I'll tell you about my day later, how was your day?"
"Good. How was yours?"
"Great! I had a great day, I ran into..."

Of course you may want to adjust your answer depending on whether you want to attract, or repel the person who asked.

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