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"Oh, my aching [fill in the blank]". . .

Besides discussing them with your doctor(s) and immediate family, it's just better to keep health issues to oneself.
Something occurred to me recently, as I sat in a group of 30-to-50-something friends at a small party we had on our backyard patio in mid-July that seemed like a valid point to bring up here.  Aches, pains, and ongoing health issues.  Many of us have them, especially those of us over 35 or 40.  Some issues are cleared up relatively quickly with a prescription or minor medical procedure, and some, unfortunately, are rather more serious and longer term.  But everyone has health problems arise in their lives at one time or another. 

The point, however, is that average guys looking to kick up their everyday style several notches shouldn't let aches and pains dominate our lives and conversation.  Sure, if one suffers from a serious, lengthy, and/or debilitating condition, it is on his mind most of the time.  I get it.  And I've been there myself.  More than once.

But when less serious aches and pains make up the bulk of one's conversation, or you find yourself starting every exchange of which you are a part with the latest update on, or moaning about, your particular health issues, it's a little much.  And even a bit dull for those around you.  That's a bit harsh, perhaps, but nonetheless true. 

And you know what?  Everyone has times when he doesn't feel well or hurts physically.  And those occasional more serious health issues?  Lots of us wrestle through that too.  But it doesn't require a half-hour dissertation on the reasons why you might be gluten free, lactose intolerant, suffering from kidney stones and a flare-up of gout, or that your ingrown toe nail makes it difficult to wear dress shoes.  I'll wager that most people would rather talk about other things and NOT learn about your less-than-savory internal problems.  Even if they are polite enough not to interrupt with a subtle attempt to distract you.  

Surprise!  There's a whole world of other stuff to talk about out there.  And at the very least, almost everyone can discuss music, movies, books, and sports. . .  although I'd exercise considerable caution on that last item since it can get mind-numbing awfully fast.  If you've ever suffered through a lengthy monologue about the heyday of Welsh rugby in the 1970s, or the old British TV program The Likely Lads for that matter, you'll know what I mean.  But I digress.

Here's the take-away point for today.  In the interest of improving our personal style in any interaction with most other other human beings -- with the exception your medical specialist(s) of course, and probably your spouse or significant other -- it's far better simply to reply, whenever asked how you are, "I'm very well, thanks.  And you?"

-- Heinz-Ulrich 


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