I don’t like it when someone asks “are you okay?” They’re showing concern and compassion, of course, but I don’t like the invasiveness of those words. What they mean, of course, is that they’re noticing or sensing that I’m not okay and that they’d like to lend a hand in some way. I don’t mind if people say “are you okay?” if I’ve fallen onto the pavement or been hit by a fastball or shot by a gang-banger, but I don’t like people to ask if I’m emotionally okay. Thank you but that’s my business, my concern. If I want to share I will but until that happens, please hang back. A friendly hug or pat on the back is cool, but don’t say those words. I never do. If I’m sensing someone is upset, I’ll show respect by giving them a back-pat and hanging close and talking to them as if nothing’s wrong. I’m not their doctor or counselor — I’m their friend. When I’m about to bid farewell I might say “you’re good?” but that’s as far as I’ll go.