The five words most people dread hearing from friends

The five words most people dread hearing from friends thumbnail

“But how are you really?” It was the second time my recent acquaintance had asked how I was. I’d never noticed how intrusive they were — those five little words.

I’d answered ‘fine’ the first time. Not ‘fine’ in that emotionally brittle sense that really means I’m-anything-but-fine (and-if-you-really-cared-you’d-know-it-already). I’d meant it in the neutral sense of “everything in my life is pretty ace right now and ‘fine’ just about covers it”.

But apparently she knew better. She was sure I was concealing something.

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