when people ask us how we are, why do we always say im fine?

@ESKARENA1 (18299)
July 5, 2007 2:19pm CST
Do we ever tell people exactly how we are or how we are feeling? Do they actually ever want to know when they ask how we are?
6 people like this
33 responses
• United States
5 Jul 07
I think most people just out of habit say it to us, most really don't want to hear what our day is really like and if we told them, would they really listen or care?
2 people like this
@ESKARENA1 (18299)
5 Jul 07
im sure they dont want to know, so why the question? seems odd to me
2 people like this
• United States
5 Jul 07
I think most of the time it is done out of habit, kind of like hi, how are you ... it kind of goes along the same lines
2 people like this
@ESKARENA1 (18299)
5 Jul 07
yes i know its polite and a result of habit but surely its fundementally dishonest?
2 people like this
@derek_a (10902)
6 Jul 07
Because we tell lies, and they don't really want to know? So that makes us all liars? LOL - Can't think of much more to say... Can that be true I wonder!?
2 people like this
@ESKARENA1 (18299)
6 Jul 07
ive missed you over the last few days, maybe we are both going through a dry spell lol. Is it possible to intellectually dry up on mylot? lol blessed be
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@derek_a (10902)
6 Jul 07
How very dare you! Me.. dried up? My brain, like a prune! Who sir? Me sir? LOL...(Good line there for Katherine Tate maybe?) I've been on mylot in fits and starts as I've had to tend to other things, like work? LOL Have noticed you've not been on so much either. I'm not saying anything. Honest..LOL
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@derek_a (10902)
6 Jul 07
Oh yes, I remember about your post about your bereavement and hope you are coping ok.. See you there.. as they say.. :-)
1 person likes this
• United States
5 Jul 07
I think it becomes a habit to say "Hi, how are you?" When my friends say that, I'm usually honest about how I am feeling or doing and hope they will do the same. With my friends and family, I really DO want to know how they are. With others, I do think it is just "polite conversation".
@ESKARENA1 (18299)
5 Jul 07
i agree, but what is polite about being fundementally dishonest ?
1 person likes this
• United States
5 Jul 07
I don't think it is being dishonest. But if a person you don't know or barely know asks you "how are you?" are you really going to launch into the accounts of your life and tell them how you really feel? Probably not, because you know they are just being polite. And I don't think they really expect you to do that. . .or want you to.
1 person likes this
• United States
5 Jul 07
I think that when you ask people how they are doing, it's become more of a generalized topic instead of a genuine question. It's almost as if it's more of a greeting and that saying "good" or "fine" is just the expected response, almost like someone was saying hi to you and you are merely saying hi back, even though the words are different. I think most times people are very uninterested and it's just a "question" to invite someone to talk or to greet you in return.
2 people like this
@ESKARENA1 (18299)
5 Jul 07
absolutely agreed. I just wonder why we all seem to play these games when all we really do is introduce a conversation
1 person likes this
@ravinskye (8242)
• United States
5 Jul 07
I think some people want to know how you are doing. But I think most are just making polite conversation and asking how someone is doing is a good way to get the ball rolling.
@ESKARENA1 (18299)
5 Jul 07
So it is simply code for saying, Hello i would like a conversation with you? If so, why the need for a code?
2 people like this
@pyewacket (44036)
• United States
7 Jul 07
I'm in the habit of saying I'm fine to people when they ask me how I am, no matter how lousy I might actually be feeling...There's nothing worse in my mind then asking a person "oh, How are you?" and proceed to give a listing of everything that is wrong with them from the latest pimple they got to hearing about their diarrhea problems...LOL--It's like yeesh. Sorry I asked....So as far as for me...when I ask someone, I really do wish they'd stick to "I'm fine" instead of hearing all their medical problems--it's depressing at times!
1 person likes this
@pyewacket (44036)
• United States
7 Jul 07
By the way I don't want to sound uncaring or insulting but I do actually know one woman in the neighborhood like this...under no circumstances ask how she is feeling cause boy will she tell you
1 person likes this
@ESKARENA1 (18299)
7 Jul 07
Ia gree with all you say, but if i dont want to really know how anyone is, i sure as hell wont ask them blessed be
@pyewacket (44036)
• United States
7 Jul 07
Well thats why I refrain from asking that one woman,... I really don't care to know how she is she I know if I did ask I'd get an earful--she is a real whinner anyway to begin with
1 person likes this
@rb200406 (1825)
• India
13 Aug 07
I think it is more related to the fact that when we meet anybody we must give warmth & happiness.We must not make that persons mood bad saying about our own problems.Also it is nice to say i am good.
1 person likes this
@ESKARENA1 (18299)
15 Aug 07
but may it not also be a lie?
• Hong Kong
16 Aug 07
i agree whit that comment, it's very important to do that because we are socialice creature that need help and to be help.
@dianagnes (1088)
• Singapore
12 Jul 07
i tend to said that "im fine" or "im good" if people ask how i am even im not feeling well that time,..the words are just stick and match together until its hard to say something different..haha!! its like common. Some don't really care of how we are..people usually starts off a chat like this!Its just a form of normal asking question at the starting.
1 person likes this
@ESKARENA1 (18299)
13 Jul 07
well, if people dont want an honest answer, i suggest they dont ask the question blessed be
@TinaCL (429)
• United States
11 Jul 07
What an interesting topic! There's a balance between being honest vs. not having to pour your guts out to someone you don't know very well. If it's someone I don't know very well, I would still try to answer truthfully, but briefly. If I'm doing really well, I'll just say "great!" If not, I'll say something like "okay, could be better." Then I'll immediatley turn it around and ask "how are you?" If it's a family member or good friend, I'll be more candid.
1 person likes this
@ESKARENA1 (18299)
11 Jul 07
at least this maintains integrety and honesty, blessed be
• Philippines
16 Aug 07
uhmm, according to my analysis.. people's first reaction to the question "how are you?" is to answer "I'm fine". But that's not the truth i think that they are only hiding the sad part of their lives for us to know that they are fine but the truth is they are not. as you can see, We only say our true feelings to the one who we really close with. We can say the exactly how we are.
• United States
12 Jul 07
I usually say: Well, I woke up this morning, that's always a good sign... And you?
1 person likes this
@golfproo (1841)
• Canada
6 Jul 07
That is a good question. I think you are quite correct, we never actually say how we are really feeling. I think this is the case because we know that people are just basically passing on a pleasantry and they really do not care how we are feeling. We all know the last thing somebody wants to hear when they ask how are you, is a string of complaints. :) cheers,
1 person likes this
@Debs_place (10525)
• United States
6 Jul 07
I think in general, it just follows HI...how are you. A person who really wants to know will follow it up with something...HI, How are you feeling since you got out of the hospital or whatever. Most people unless they are more then acquaintances do not really expect anything more than a 3 word answer..that being 'Fine..and you?'
1 person likes this
• United States
6 Jul 07
I actually taught english as a foreign language in S. Korea during the 90's and I really had to think about that question in teaching the greetings, because if a student was asked "how are you doing" they would take it literally. During my last year there I finally came up with the best possible answer. When this question is asked in certian situations it is meant as a greeting and we are not meant to be negative or give a detailed history of literally how we are doing. If they say "come on, really, how are you really doing?" then we can say something other than "fine". We, as a culture, have been taught to know how to answer by the tone of voice in which the question is asked. In one tone it is a greeting, in another it is really a question.
• Philippines
6 Jul 07
some people just ask "how are you?" out of habit. others out of politeness and the rest are 100% sincere about knowing how we are doing. in my own experience, when my friends ask me how i am doing, i believe that they really want to know how i am doing. so i tell them how i exactly feel. besides, they would know if i am really fine or not. =)
1 person likes this
• Lincoln, Nebraska
6 Jul 07
I think the reason that we don't tell people how we are feeling is usually because it is negative and we don't want to bring the other person down or make them feel obligated to make us feel better. In addition I once heard that when you tell people that you are having a bad day that most of them don't listen and that at least fifty percent of those who do are glad that you are having a bad day. I try to be honest with people and let them know how my day is going but I am sure that it would make a lot more people smile and feel good if I smiled and said that my day is going great.
• United States
5 Jul 07
When I say fine it it because I am feeling fine, hunky dory, great BUT if I am not I tell them I feel so-so, not so hot, lousy, I've had better days,etc.
1 person likes this
@arcidy (5016)
• United States
5 Jul 07
Ive thought about that to because when someone ask me how im doing I always say im fine or im good I guess if we are miserable we dont want to bother people with our problems especially if we dont know them would you tell a stranger that asked you that question that your miserable I know I wouldnt so thats pretty much why we say im doing just fine.
1 person likes this
@ellie26 (4128)
• Malaysia
5 Jul 07
Well, I guess when people ask how we are, we always answer I'm fine because it is usually the standard answer. Generally, they ask not because they are actually want to know how we are but it is a standard greeting when meeting someone.
1 person likes this
@cher913 (25890)
• Canada
5 Jul 07
well a) we either dont want to go into the gory details of what happens to be ailing us at that particular moment or b) we dont have enough time to go into the gory details that are ailing us at that particular time lol fine is much easier and simpler answer!
1 person likes this