There are plenty of times that when asked “how are you” I reply “I’m good” or “I’m okay” when in reality I’m thinking to myself “if I really told you how I was doing we would be here all day” or “if I really told you how I was doing it would make for a very awkward conversation.”

Society teaches us that you should smile and say “I’m good” when asked how you are doing. If you answer in a negative way at all, people are thrown off and it comes across as complaining. Most people say “how are you” when not really wanting to know how you ACTUALLY are. This leads people to say “I’m good” when they actually aren’t. This happens ALL the time.

My response to some people has been “No, really, how are you? It’s okay to not be good.” I just want people to know it’s safe to be real with me. It’s safe to express what is really going on or just tell me it’s not good and dive into it, or don’t dive into it, but be REAL.

Plenty of us have had and currently have lots of fake, surface-level relationships and what I know to be true is, momma, you don’t have time for that. You need real, truthful, cry together, pray together, and scream together relationships. You need friendships that are family and friends that actually care enough to cut through the bull and find out how you really are.

Those friendships, they’re in your hands. You choose what kind of relationships you want in your life. It is certainly easier to have friendships that aren’t deep. It’s a lot less messy that way, but guess what – life is MESSY! Why not have friends that delve into the mess with you and sometimes help pull you out of the mess rather than relationships where you have to pretend their is no mess.

How do you get to those friendships? I wish I had all of the answers. I would just suggest start evaluating the friendships you want to put your energy and effort into and stop letting your friends get by with telling you they are okay or “good”. Even when it is clear they aren’t, try being a bit nosey and asking more questions. You can always ask forgiveness if you ask too much. However, nosey is nosey. Nosey is asking to get the dirt. Nosey is asking and not caring enough to follow up. Don’t ask if you aren’t ready to listen. You don’t have to fix it or even be able to relate, just give those friends space to talk. Everyone needs a safe space. I truly believe we can change the world if we can start with better relationships and truly caring about each other.

Go for it! Trim the fat in your relationships and focus on some deeper ones and I dare you to not settle for the words “It’s good” or “I’m good” as an answer to “How are you?”

Do you have any tips for anyone looking to build deeper, more meaningful friendships?

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