I keep seeing these memes going around saying "when someone asks how you you're doing, don't dwell on your troubles, focus on the positive."
While I do understand the idea of focusing on the positive--and that it can help a person get through rough times, I also know how difficult it can be to ask for help when you need it.
I know there were plenty of times in the past when I answered, "how are you" with "I'm fine" but I should have said "things are bad and I need help."
There are a lot of people who suffer from Depression or other problems (financial for example) who answer "I'm fine" because they don't want to trouble others with their problems.
I've moved past that. I prefer to think that when someone asks how you're doing, it's because they care to know. I one doesn't care, there are other questions to ask to make casual conversation. How's the weather? Read any good books lately? Can you pass the salt?
These are hard times for a lot of people--my little family included—but I've made no secret of that. Wookie and I are lucky in that we have some great friends around us—and family too. I would wish the same for everyone.
Wouldn't it be better to encourage people to ask for help if they need it?
A better meme would be, "If you ask how someone is doing—listen for the answer." Or "When a friend asks how you're doing, remember a true friend wants to know."
I don't care if you wrap the message in pictures of kittens and bunnies or little old ladies, or what have you. The package doesn't matter. What matters is squashing the idea that people should suffer in silence, spouting rainbows and unicorns so as not to bring others down.
I'd like to think we're better than that, or that we should aim to be.