"I'm fine, how are you?" Or do you say how you REALLY are?

@anniepa (27240)
United States
February 9, 2008 1:59am CST
Everyone makes small talk, when you go to the grocery store or the bank, wherever, it's common for someone to say, "How are you today?" When that happens do you always automatically just say "fine" or if you're not so fine for whatever reason, do you tell them so? We probably all know someone who you know better than to ask how they are because you know you'll be in for a long medical history but most of us get into a habit of just saying we're fine no matter what. How about you, or does it depend? When you say "How are you?" to someone you don't really know that well, do you really want to know or are you just being polite? And, did you ever ask someone and live to regret it? Annie
5 people like this
15 responses
@uath13 (8207)
• United States
9 Feb 08
I'm tired & would rather be at home instead of here at work on a saturday. I answer honestly. Short answers are fine, But let's skip the long medical history.
3 people like this
• United States
10 Feb 08
I never ask how are you if I didn't want to know the real answer. I say hi or hey to a lot of people but I only ask how are you to my close friends and co workers.And I have had the opposite happen. I have a co worker who is going through so medical problems and I asked how she was doing and she said fine but didn't say anything else. So I asked how is her meds were treating her and got to know how she really is doing.
2 people like this
@Rozie37 (15499)
• Turkmenistan
10 Feb 08
With some people all you have to say is Hi. You do not need to ask how they are doing, they will volunteer to tell you everytime. Is like they are just waiting to prey on the nice people who they know really care about them. There are certain people that you have to pretend like you don't even see. There is this one lady in my building who is always whining about something or other. Either she is in some kind of agonizing pain or her boyfriend is neglecting her, or someone has stole something from her or something. There is always an issue. I am nice, too nice, but to be honest, I have gotten to the point where I hate to see her coming. With all of her issues, she could make a small fortune on Mylot. As for me, I rarely ever tell one person everything. Maybe when I am in therapy, I will say a little more than usual. But I look at it like this, people have their own problems, they don't want to listen to me gripe and moan all day long, right?
2 people like this
@owlwings (40041)
• Cambridge, England
10 Feb 08
Yes, I'm afraid that I both ask and answer merely out of politeness. There are some people who I have learned to avoid in the past, which is really weak of me, I know, because those people are the ones who often NEED to have an excuse to tell someone their woes. I do sometimes feel uncomfortable when someone at the store or the bank asks rather over-brightly how I am. I privately wonder if they really care so the politeness barrier goes up and I put on a smile and say I'm well, thankyou or something like that. As a matter of fact, many times it does make me feel a little better, so perhaps it's not such a bad thing after all.
2 people like this
@crazynurse (7489)
• United States
10 Feb 08
My answer to the quesiton, "How are you?" depends upon who is asking the question. Sadly, most of the time I respond with "fine" as most people automatically do. Sometimes I will say something like, "Oh, getting by" or "Fair to partly cloudy" or something silly like that. Yes, I do know some people that I would never say "How are you" to, as I would be there for a few hours listening to their reply!
2 people like this
@Tanika (632)
• Australia
10 Feb 08
Hiya, I usually always say im fine. Sometimes with a really close friends I will say otherwise but only if I feel like talking about it since saying that I'm not good almost invariably sets me off.. Thankfully I have not yet lived to regret asking the question of someone else. Tanika.
2 people like this
• India
9 Feb 08
I always say Great!, Good! That creates a positive response.
2 people like this
• India
9 Feb 08
This is more a phychology rather than simple discussion. Some people may say "fine" n' hurry to leave so that the other person won't speak more n' ask more things, especially if you really don't want to talk to, or dont have time. To close friends n' people whom you know very well, usually everyone says what they really feel in order to get some help n' support. But in common everyone says simply "i'm fine" - i was also thinking that its liek odd sometimes, especially when a person really doesn't seems to be fine. It's sort of an automatically n' fixed answer.
2 people like this
@dreamy1 (3815)
• United States
9 Feb 08
It depends on the person asking and how they say it. If it's just a casual hi/bye sort of think I just say fine and leave it at that. If you're just passing by or a very casual acquaintance no one really wants to know your sob story. If the person knows me well and asks me in a way that shows concern like maybe I was going through something and they knew about it, then I would tell them what was going on in my life. Or if it was someone I haven't seen in a long time then I would catch them up on what's going on. So it just depends on the situation.
2 people like this
@ctrymuziklvr (11059)
• United States
9 Feb 08
I always say I'm fine no matter how I'm feeling even to my kids. If I were going to tell them the truth most times they would start worrying about me so I just keep it to fine. When I'm talking to someone else I usually say "how's it going?" and I think that keeps them from telling me all their problems...lol....
2 people like this
@kiran1978 (4137)
• Australia
9 Feb 08
Sometimes I say fine if I donot want to be hassled as I do not want them to ask what is wrong. However if I am really upset or mad, I might say not really good actually. But most of the time I think I say, fine thanks. If I ask someone how are you? Most of the time it is to be polite and make small talk. If it is to someone I know pretty well of course I want to know how they really are. However if I do not know them well at all, do not expect them to really tell me how they are feeling. Have not lived to regret asking someone how they are, yet!!
2 people like this
• United States
9 Feb 08
i do both lol. i ask some ppl because i honestly want to know..such as family. others i ask out of politeness only. whenever someone asks me that question i always have the same answer to give them..whether its been a bad day or a good day..and that is "as well as can be expected" lol..say it with a slight smile and it usually gets a small chuckle and implies that is all the information i am willing to share. which is exactly what i want..since i dont like airing my dirty laundry to ppl who are not involved anyways lol!
2 people like this
@chrislotz (8203)
• Canada
15 Feb 08
I mostly say I'm fine but sometimes I say do you really want to know, or I say I'm okay, or I say I'm good enough. Most people just ask you how you are just to be polite and they don't really want to know if you aren't fine. It is asked just out of politeness or just for conversation. That small talk that sometimes we need to do.
1 person likes this
@Winter08 (441)
• Canada
9 Feb 08
I used to respond with "Not bad." Then I realized that what I was actually saying was "I'm doing not so good." So now my response, for the most part, is "I'm fine." However ... There are times when I get the sense that the person asking has no real interest in my answer. That they are asking just because it is the expected thing to ask. And I sometimes respond to them with, "You know, I am doing REALLY lousy." Stops them in their tracks. And it catches their true attention. At which point I tell them I am fine. I don't always do well with small talk.
1 person likes this
@twoey68 (13651)
• United States
31 May 08
Unless it's obvious that I'm sick or something I just say I'm fine or allright. If you can look at me and tell I'm sick then I'll say something like trying to get over this junk or something like that. I don't drag all my illnesses or problems out for ppl...what's the point in that. **AT PEACE WITHIN** ~~STAND STRONG IN YOUR BELIEFS~~