One of the biggest obstacles Weehawers face is that of communication. I’m a firm believer that if people would simply share that their lives aren’t perfect, others would maybe stop stressing over their own flaws. That said, I’m never sure how much information to share.
When someone asks, “How are you doing?” do I respond with, “Kinda crappy. My drug-addicted, mentally-ill kid hasn’t made contact in a while. My second-oldest is growing a tumor in her uterus the size of a Beluga whale. As for the rest of them…” I have done that before, only to watch the sudden face-melting and fidgeting.
If someone asks, “How are you doing?” I usually answer, “tired. and you?” That seems to be the best way to go for two reasons. One: It’s honest but not over-informative. Two: It places the responsibility of getting deeper on the other person. I realize that could lead to awkwardness on their part, but hopefully my honesty has allowed them a moment to realize that I am being real and they are allowed to be real as well.
Still, this area of my life brings me such anxiety. Am I being a Debbie Downer? Am I “keeping it real?” Am I an attention-addict? I don’t know what the answer is. I just know it’s another unpredictable part of this crazy life.