Stop Asking “How Are You Doing?”

Negative people are too quick to “Trauma Dump”

Aaron McClure
2 min readMar 24, 2022


Trauma dump, Advice, life lessons, #advice, #traumadump
Lovely photo by Akshar Dave 🪁 on Unsplash

Recently I had a call with someone who is notorious for delivering nothing but doom and gloom. Conceivably, this has been done in an attempt to illicit attention of the worst kind — pity. No one wants to be a victim of a Trauma Dump.

“How are you doing?” is an open door to trauma dumping. Just like all unwanted refuse and litter being thrown about — it should be illegal.

The new approach to conversation with those who tend to do nothing but complain is designed in such a way that it takes back some control over the engagement. Instead of asking a broad and way open ended question, it asks for a specific thing.

“What great thing happened today/this week/since the last time we talked?”

“What gave you a smile today/this week/since the last time we talked?”

Asking in this format makes the person on the other end clearly know what you want to to hear about. This also controls the conversation, allowing for you to reply with something that was good on your end.

I’m tired of having great things to share that I can’t transition naturally into a conversation with a “Debbie Downer”. Hopefully, their brain may pick up on the good things they can share and how it’s something that people actually want to talk about.

It would be great if prolonged practice will help them extinguish the negativity that they have surrounded and comforted themselves with and forego the unnecessary trauma dumps.

As always friends, I welcome an open discussion on any of my articles. If you leave me a message in the comments, I’ll do my best to respond in a timely manner.

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Aaron McClure

Project Manager, blogger, writer. I write about the struggles of life and how to grow as a unique person. I welcome all open discussions.