I saw this clip with Serena Williams and it prompted me to think about the meaning of this exchange between people in general.
Someone in the sea of flashing cameras asked her why she wasn’t smiling and Serena answered honestly saying that they kept asking her the same questions. She told them she just didn’t want to be there and that was her honest answer which was met with silence.
When you ask someone what’s wrong, be genuinely concerned because if you’re not, you may not like or appreciate the reply. Obviously this is just an example and I didn’t watch the whole clip but it’s like when you say “how are you?” A lot of people overlook the fact that they may get an honest reply, one they may not expect and one that might be uncomfortable to hear.
How many times have you replied to this question with the easiest answer to avoid any awkwardness?
This is a rare moment where someone famous reacted truthfully and it put everyone on the back foot because it wasn’t expected, it wasn’t agreeable.
I find exchanges like this fascinating because we all seem to really suck at the most basic of skills; communication.
I am trying to improve but it’s one of the hardest things to do when you’ve conditioned yourself to avoid uncomfortable situations.