How many times have you been asked this question? I am sure it has been almost daily. Whether you work from home, trot the globe or stack items on a shelf; the “how was your day” question plagues all our lives. I have began to wonder why we ask this question. Is it because we really care about what someone else’s day entailed, we just want to start a conversation, or it is a tradition that is passed down through generations. I am on both sides of this question almost daily, and these are the reasons why I think we ask it.
We love to hear people and ourselves complain…
For everyone who has ever asked or answered this question, 7 out of 10 times its always a response of complaint, anger, frustration or melancholy. “Work was shit”, “Just another day”, My boss is a bitch”, I didn’t get that promotion”, Traffic was so crazy this morning and I got in late”, etc. We see this question as a way to release our problems, disappointments and upsets into the ether, so someone else can be just as miserable. We see it as an open invitation to highlight the negative and disregard all the little positive elements that made our day great. As humans, we are creatures of habit, and one of our biggest vices is to complain. We complain about things we have no control over, such as the weather, and things we can control such as our schedules. We simply just love to complain, and being asked this question is just a smiling invitation to create unnecessary hyperbole.
We want to pretend that we care…
Many times someone asks the “How was your day?” question, it is never to start an hour long conversation, but to more so give the impression that we “care” about what happened in our loved one’s day. After a long day of your own problems, the last thing you want to do is hear about someone else’s. But, if you ask, then you must be interested in learning that my car needs a brake pad and my co-worker’s great grand aunt’s sister passed last night. The perfect response to “How was your day?” should never be more than a few lines. A summary of sorts highlighting the exciting and maybe dull moments of your day, not a philosophy lecture. Be considerate of the questioner and understand that they may just be pretending that they care.
It is a form of “Good Evening”…
“How was your day?” for many people has become just another informal way of saying “Good Evening.” It is an acknowledgement that you have arrived home and your day has ended. It is less of an invitation to start a convo and is expected to be replied to with a simple “Uhmm, it was okay!” Have you ever come in from a day’s work and have your loved one/s mumble, “How was your day?” without even lifting their head from their phone or laptop? That is a queue that they do not intend to initiate a convo, they are just saying “Good Evening.” It’s strange, but this question has become just another informal greeting like “What’s up?” for most.
So I am going to ask you today my wonderful readers…How was your day? You must figure out if I just want to hear you complain, pretending I care or just saying “Good evening.” 😉
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