“How are you?” is one of the most commonly asked questions in conversation, or even in passing, yet we rarely answer honestly. We often conceal our true emotions, especially when we are in turmoil. To truly be able to talk about mental health, and to encourage deeper empathetic understanding, we must be honest about how we feel, be it good or bad. If we want to achieve a deeper level of discussion about mental health, or about anything related to our emotional states, we must allow ourselves to be vulnerable. Honesty, especially when the truth is not pretty or brave, often requires vulnerability.
Although this vulnerability is intimidating, in order to make true progress in society, we must be willing to take this step. To talk about mental health, and to understand each other, we must show our true selves. A step towards that requires only that we answer “How are you?” honestly.