How are ya? Good?
By Mark Bradman
These are arguably the most commonly used sequence of words between two or more people meeting or passing by.
But what do they actually mean? Do they mean anything at all? Are they a question? A statement? A greeting?
Very often, there’s not even room for a breath between the first 3 words and the last, as if we’re already anticipating that the other person is (or, inevitably, will be) uttering the same sequence back to us… Neither party really interested in each other’s response, that is, how we really ‘are’.
In one of my sales jobs, we’d start our sales meetings with “How Are Ya!” bellowed out like a call to a Haka to which everyone would yell back in quick succession “Fantastic! Sensational! Great!… “ while clapping in time with wild enthusiasm to a ‘predetermined script’…
But what if we’re not feeling “Fantastic” or “Sensational” or “Great”? It didn’t matter because as salesmen we were expected to be all of these and more… all of the time…
While I have long moved on from that company, I still feel that same expectation on me every day of my life from ordinary people I interact with. Worryingly, I’ve realised that this comes with the territory of being a man in our society – like salesmen speaking to one another in a ‘predetermined script’ about how we are supposed to be…
The Men Being Real workshop throws this expectation ‘on its head’. It recognises that no human being could possibly live without ‘being rained upon’, at least sometime during their life.
It creates an environment to enable us to explore how we ‘really’ feel. It helps us release ‘suppressed feelings’ we might have been carrying from days gone by, what I sometimes refer to as our ‘unfinished business’. It helps us to re-connect with who we truly are ‘on the inside’, beneath those expectations of how we are supposed to be. Then returns us back into ‘the world’ with a renewed sense of Self.
If you’re a man, perhaps, this is the right time for you to join other men on a journey to ‘reclaim our humanity’ as men? or
If you’re a woman, perhaps you can pass this article onto a man who might be ready or in need of this?
Mark Bradman is a member of the Essentially Men Education Trust Network and previously worked for the Trust as the Programme and Marketing Coordinator