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How are you? Does Midwestern politeness get in the way?

Midwest culture is unique. We "America's Heartlanders" are known for our outdoor hobbies, farming, winter survival strategies, hard work and country living. We are also known for our politeness. It is at times an autopilot response to hold a door open, greet another with a smile, drop off treats for a neighbor or when running into someone familiar ask, "how are you?" How often have we asked, "how are you" and heard the answer, "good" or "fine" or even answered this question ourselves this way.

Unfortunately, "Midwestern polite" has also created a belief that if we truly answer the question, "h...


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