Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Not Much Syndrome

We've all got it. The Not Much Syndrome. That socially serious disease which causes us to respond, "not much" every time we're asked, "what's up?"

It's become almost required to begin a conversation:

"Oh, hey! What's up?"
"Not much, you?"
"Not much."


"So anyway,..."

Why do we do it? Why do we say 'not much' when that just can't be true? Something is always up. It may not be something drastic, but it could be something as simple as, "I had an awesome day today" or "I have so much reading to do tonight." Is it out of habit that we simply reply 'not much?' Or is it something else? Is it because we're afraid? Is there this fear that people just don't care about our lives? About the little things that happen to us? Is there an insecurity that we're just not interesting? That something's only 'up' if it's big news?

I say 'not much' all the time, but I want to try to stop. In order to have normal conversations with people, we have to have actual answers for the 'what's up?' question! Simply 'not much' isn't going to do it. I feel like such a boring person every time I answer 'not much.' Last night, Ezzie kept on asking me, "so, what's up?" and every time I said "not much" and he kept asking. After a while, I started searching for real answers. Oh, yes, my teacher canceled class today. That's an answer.

There is always an answer. We don't live our lives in a bubble. We interact. Things happen to us - even little things. But they are all important and, believe it or not, someone who's really your friend does want to hear those little things. It's what keeps the friendship alive and interesting. Not every discussion has to have enormous weight. It can be frivolous, sometimes. It can be simple. It can be about every day events.

I think it's time we broke out of the Not Much Syndrome.


Ezzie said...

I agree!

Though upon reading the post, this is what our convo sounds like it could lead to:

Ezzie: "so what's up?"
Erachet: "not much"
Ezzie: "so what's up?
Erachet: "not much"
Ezzie: "so what's up?"
Erachet: [throws heavy object] STOP ASKING ME THAT!!!

Ezzie said...

Nu, so what's up? :)

G said...

damn you ezzie!

the apple said...

You are so freaking persistent, Ezzie! Sometimes I think you keep asking "what's up?" just to get a real answer out of us all. Although you know that I'll eventually spill the beans.

(And that sounds like a conversation I would have with you, except you would try to duck but I would hit the target anyway! HAHAHAHAHA!)

Stubborn and Strong said...

More like i don't like this conversation than that:

Person A: hi!
Person B: How are you?
A: I'm fine

That word "I'm fine" is so freaking annoying to me because what happen if we are NOT fine but we lied to other people. Also even we are fine, the conversation will end on that bec we the human likes drama, and when we don't have drama it is not worth to talk to another person anymore, so i always tried to refrain "how are you?" unless i really don't care about another person.

Madd Hatter said...

I think you're right if the conversation is with a good friend, or even a not so good friend, but I think the syndrome tends to manifest itself primarily amongst that truly awkward status known as acquaintances. Most people who ask how someone is do it out of politeness because social ettiquette dictates they must or risk seeming rude. They really don't care how you're day went or what actually is "up" in your life.

Scraps said...

Just so you know, I had this post in mind when Ezzie asked me what was going on today. So I *didn't* say, "Not much." Haha! :)

SJ said...

Good post. I agree. Here's to involving our friends in ridiculously long conversations every time we speak. :)

~ Sarah ~ said...

good post. you are right.

unless of course there is LITERALLY nothing interesting or worthwhile talking about.

but i'm sick of getting 'not much' as an answer. be creative people!

Ezzie said...

Apple - :P :::maybe:::

And amen to everything else everyone said. :)

corner point said...

I feel guilty every time I say "not much" now...
Which I suppose is a success for you :-)

But you're right and good point!

Moshe said...

me: Wasup?

Ezzie: nm

me: HAHAHA - you said not much!

Ezzie: i just woke up!

me: I don't care - you still said it!

Ezzie: you're allowed if there's really nothing to say.

me: I'm putting it up on Erachet's blog

Ezzie: which only applies if you hav ebeen doing nothing
like sleeping
so what's up with you? [grin]

me: You know...oh where do I

Ezzie: nice try
begin somewhere

me: But certainly not "not much"

Ezzie: good