Berean Blog

Moving Past Minnesota Nice: How Are You Doing?

by Brent Birdsall on January 22, 2020

How ya doin'?

So, is this a greeting or a question? It can be used both ways, but most often we use it as a friendly greeting. We expect the other person to say, "Fine, thanks. And, how are you?”

“Fine.” And then we both move on.

I'm going to make a radical suggestion. Let’s use How ya doin’? as a sincere question. Don’t rush by. Make eye contact and wait for an answer.

Express Care for People

One of the greatest ways to express care is to encourage people to share what’s going on in their lives. Take time to learn what’s significant and what is troubling.

I know that not all of our conversations can be deep and meaningful. But when you know that a friend is going through a tough time, show them you care.  When you ask them how they're doing, your tone of voice, eye contact, and thoughtful manner lets them know you genuinely want to know.

Become an Effective Listener

Here are a few tips to help you be a more effective listener.

  • Don’t bombard people with lots of questions. Ask one question and then give them time to respond.
  • Ask open-ended questions that cannot be answered with a simple yes or no. For example, "I hear you're scheduled for surgery. How are you feeling about that?"
  • Ask clarifying questions that demonstrate you're listening and interested in accurately understanding what's going on in their lives. For example, "What was happening that caused you to go to the doctor in the first place? What are some things I can do for you while you recuperate from surgery?"
  • Reflect back to them what you're hearing. It shows you are listening carefully and desire to go deeper into the conversation. For example, "From what I hear you saying, this surgery has some risks that are making you and your family feel worried."

Foster a Culture of Care

I don't need to bombard you with listening tips. My real goal is to foster a culture of confidential, empathetic caregiving within our faith family. We're not digging for more information simply to pass it on to others. Rather, we desire to show Christian love and respect, valuing the thoughts and concerns hidden deeply in our friends' hearts.

When someone is hurting it reassures them when another person cares and takes the time to listen. Remember, God gave us two ears for a reason. Listen twice as much as you talk. May 2020 be the year we practice the art of listening.


Need someone to talk to? Are you looking for support in a specific area of your life? Berean offers many resources to walk with you through times just like this. 

Berean Care & Support

Tags: friendship, relationship, care, listening skills, culture of care

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