What to say when "Fine, and you?" feels like a betrayal?
July 31, 2014 1:46 AM Subscribe
I've had a truly awful year, and in April my much beloved pet died suddenly leaving me completely devastated with guilt and grief. Among the things I no longer seem to be able to do is answer the innocuous "How are you?" question from acquaintances and colleagues. Any suggestions?
posted by girl flaneur to Human Relations (42 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
It has been three and a half months since the death of my pet, so even if people know, most assume I'm over the loss by now. But I'm not. Not even close. I am trying to do what I can, but my heart is broken.
Obviously I know "how are you?" is not a real question but just saying, "fine, thanks" feels like I'm betraying my relationship. On the other hand, I certainly don't want to burden people or make them feel uncomfortable by detailing my actual state of mind.
Any suggestions about what to say? Ideally, I'd like something quick and snappy that acknowledges the loss. Or should I just resign myself to giving the standard response? In the past when things haven't been going well, I didn't mind giving the standard response because I didn't have the sense that I was letting anyone else down or trivializing a relationship, but this feels different. I'm sure this is a common issue for grieving people, but this is my first major loss.