In American Girl's Guide to Knowing What to Say, there's a quiz about whether you should say something now or later. One of the questions is: You're calling your friend to tell her that you get to go to New York for spring break. When you get on the phone, she tells you that her parent just lost their job. Do you tell her about New York now or later?
The obvious answer is later. When I first read this question, I remember thinking, wow, this is why it's so important to ask the other person how they're doing first, rather than just starting the conversation with, "Yay I'm going to New York!"
I realize now that I haven't always done this. I've gotten so accustomed to writing stuff on Facebook and on this blog without it being a conversation, and I often do the same thing when I'm emailing or texting. And I realize that everyone doesn't do that - everyone isn't necessarily as vocal about what's going on with them and going to send me a message saying "My mom lost her job" if I don't ASK them how they are doing. I need to remember that a personal conversation is not a Facebook or blog post. Unless I'm having an emergency or a crisis, I want to make a conscious effort to always ask people how they are doing before getting into whatever else I was calling about because:
1. I care how they are doing, and asking is the only way to know. I can't be relying on the fact that someone tell me that something is wrong at that moment, especially while I'm talking about something else.
2. Like the New York vacation situation, it may not be the best time for them to hear whatever I was planning to say, so I should find that out first.