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Happiness Tip: Flip the Script

“How are you?” A good friend asks at lunch. You haven’t seen her for a month or so. You feel guilty that you’ve been out of touch; you tell her all the reasons that you’ve been so, so busy.

She reassures you with 10 billion reasons that she, also, has been too busy to meet earlier or to return your calls promptly. Your detailed lists of your busy busy busy lives leave you both feeling overwhelmed.

Sound familiar?

Our most common greeting from loved ones and casual acquaintances alike (“How are you doing?”) doesn’t really work for us, or our happiness, when the answer generates feelings of overwhelm.

It’s time to change this common little dialog. What if, instead of recounting all that is happening in your life, you use “How are you?” as a prompt to think about something you are grateful for? Even if you don’t feel too busy, taking a moment for gratitude is likely to give you a happiness boost.

Take Action: The next time someone asks you how you are doing, pause for a moment and reflect on something that you a grateful for. Then tell them about that. Perhaps you are grateful for the March sunshine (or needed rain), or that your little girl lost her tooth last night, or that you’ve been reading a particularly fabulous new novel.

Join the Discussion: What other ways can you change this common dialog? Inspire others by leaving a comment.