How Are You?

The most common question of every social situation: “Hi, how are you?”

The typical response: “Fine thank you.” Or “Good thank you.” Even if you’re not ok, you’ll still reply with “Good” or “Fine” … right?

These two phrases are stuck into our brain as an automatic response. Someone asks, you should reply as if it were automatic without any hesitation. If you hesitate, then you’re weird. Trust me, you get weird looks as if you don’t know how to act as a normal human being.

Why is that? People want to be polite, but they don’t want to hear your problems. If you’re response is anything else aside from good or fine, all you’re left with is an awkward smile and a lame attempt of changing subjects. Of course- every now and then someone will listen if you say not ok, but if its not a family member or you’re closest friend they are most likely thinking what they’re going to do later when you’re spilling your heart out.

Slowly we are losing the ability to feel empathy. We are so involved in our own life that even though we want to sound polite by asking something so simple like “How are you?” we are unable to care for the real response. Even if we go with option two and just say “Hi” or “Hello” it doesn’t sound as polite as “Hi! How are you!?” right?

And then the response. Why is it that we feel that we have to reply with Good or Fine? Yes, sometimes it is the easier route than to say “Well, you know it’s not been a good day,” or “I’m mad,” or any other of the million emotions we all have. Just because we reply with how we are truly feeling it doesn’t mean that we are opening a door for a full blown conversation.  We are just sharing that we are not always ok. 

And with just sharing that “I’m not okay today” reply instead of lying with “Fine”- wouldn’t we feel much better?

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