" How are you?" Why people answer almost all time "I am fine"

Romania
March 28, 2010 4:25am CST
Why do people always tend to respond in this kind, even if they do not feel well? Very rarely they answered "so-so" or "I do not feel well"? Usually how you answer, if you meet someone, or how you will answer if I ask you now, "How are you?"
1 person likes this
25 responses
• Philippines
28 Mar 10
i would say "it s all good." people tend to answer like that bcuz they dont wanna make a big fuss of their problems. it usually means they have a problem but they know how to deal with it.
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• Romania
28 Mar 10
This is good, but if they want share with you some moments, want to make jokes, and you inside are very angry or upsad? They will feel offended if you don t want talk with them to much.
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@carmenzhj (120)
• New Zealand
29 Mar 10
We tend to share our true feeling with our close friends or relatives, but for people who doesn't know me then I would just keep the trouble to myself. For me I would keep the feeling to myself if it isn't really bad. I just don't want to make another person as upsad as me if I am not well. But I do talk to my closest friend though.
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@Aaleexix (2291)
• India
29 Mar 10
This is just because try to hide what are they in reality. if some one is asked how he is he he says that he is not well even at the time of supreme adversity. It is just called a manner that we say good hiding our misery. It is just a formality where no one want to know the real situation. Even if some one answered with unwanted way like ' I am not fine' then it would be considered as misbehave and manner less. For the formality people ask other and answer is also so generous that people use some common lines in answer like routine. Actually no one ask from heart and no one want to the real situation of other.
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@gracie04 (4555)
• Philippines
29 Mar 10
Hi Marianna Thanks for asking. As for me, I am not so good. I have been worrying a lot for the past few years due to my ailment.. my ailment's been making me an incompetent person.. i am not disabled but i have got a serious illness... i have decided to stop going to school because i can no longer take what i am feeling right now. it's hard, big time.. i can't do things other people can do, i can't have a stable job, i can't enjoy my life to the fullest, etc.. maybe, it's God's will.. He has plans for me and my family...
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• Philippines
29 Mar 10
it's simple because people who are used to answer this kind of manner is TIRED of answering the sub-question "WHY?" .. for instance, you saw someone in the midst of the road and then asked you: "how are you?", if you are going to answer "not fine", normally that person will ask you back "WHY?" , , its very annoying to answer questions all over again, that's why they tend to answer "I'm fine"... --how about you,, how are you?
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@hilarion (72)
• Philippines
29 Mar 10
in my opinion people tend to do this because 1.people think they can handle it themselves 2.people think the people around them can't help them 3.there is no reason or strength for them to show themselves
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@besthope44 (12145)
• India
29 Mar 10
Well, i would say i am fine though if i am not. Reason is i would like to give a positive vibration to the person. I would say i am great today. This would generate the positive energy to the person who asked and he would feel the same. Rather if i say am ok, this will reflect the same on him/her.
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@rakesh284 (1473)
• India
29 Mar 10
Even though I don't flirt now, but when I was in college I used to flirt with some girls from my class. Whenever they used to ask me "How are you?", I used to answer, "Now I am feeling well, I was missing you from ages!!" I used to do the same thing with my cousin sister who was really frank with me. But mostly to the rest of the world I am answering in the same traditional way. Don't know why but it is our nature to ask someone there well-being first and then start further conversation.
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• Thailand
29 Mar 10
In my opinion, most of people say " I'm fine " for several reason. Such as First, they really feel well. Second, they've no idea. Third, they don't want to tell about the reason. About me, I always say " OK" or " Not bad " :)
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• Philippines
29 Mar 10
I usually say I feel great. I am fine is the most common answer by a lot of people because they are preoccupied by a lot of things or they are not familiar with the person they are talking to.
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@lelin1123 (15645)
• Puerto Rico
29 Mar 10
If its a friend or reltative I answer honestly how I feel at that moment. If my allergies are bothering me I state it. If everything is ok I then say I'm good. My mom is the same way. How are you she will say so-so. Then I say "ok so whats the matter?" Then she tells me everything and somethings that I really don't want to hear. If its an acquaintence the I will say either "I'm fine or I'm doing good."
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@RobtheRock (2485)
• United States
29 Mar 10
I'll answer this in four words, "because they are alive." But personally, I think there are many reasons. As a fellow myLotter says, some are being polite instead of telling you, "it's none of your @#%&*# business." Since you are being respectful by offering the salutation, they are being respectful also. And it looks bad when you tell the truth, if you are not feeling well, especially men. I say that "I'm hanging in there" because things are not good and I'm not going to say they are. But I think most folks don't want you to know how they are really feeling. Plus, what can you do about it? But I believe there are other reasons why people say it.
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• China
29 Mar 10
Hi, friend. I have to say that i belong to the "i'm fine type" regardless of my real feelings at that point of time and i suppose people have reasons for answering in that way. First is about politeness. To be polite, we need to show our best side to others. Second, i personally think it makes the conversation move on more easily in a friendly atmosphere. If you tell people you're not feeling very well, and show a sad or depressing look on your face, then the other side may probably be in no mood to go on talking to you. This is very important in business meetings or negotiations where a simple but friendly conversation is necessary.
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• Japan
28 Mar 10
We like to say i am fine cause we don`t want other people worry about us and sometime when my mom asked me in the phone how are you?when i am not okay but i said i am fine my mom will know it from my voice that i am really fine or not:)cause voice and intonation can not lie right,and if you asking me now may be i will say,yes i am fine,or no i am not fine cause this and that or i ll say like you see,everything fine so...i all asked back how are you today marianna?
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@lingli_78 (12846)
• Australia
28 Mar 10
i always answer "not to bad" or "pretty good" when people ask me "how are you?" and i'm not feeling that well... but i don't elaborate on what my problem is... only when i am feeling good then i will respond "i am fine, thank you"... take care and have a nice day...
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@Wizzywig (7859)
28 Mar 10
I think, often, the person asking doesn't really want to know - its just something to say, so, rather than expand on it most people will just give a standard sort of answer which really gives nothing away. For me, it depends on who's asking. People who really care can usually tell if there's something wrong &, if you say "fine" would probably ask if you're REALLY ok. I sometimes go with, "Oh, y'know - not so bad." or occasionally, "Have been better but I'm ok" & thats about how I am this morning.
• Romania
28 Mar 10
I really like this, in this way, i can learn more expressions in English , really, i like "have been better but i am ok", for me this answer is much better as "i m fine, thank you". Of course that is important who ask us, because are person who know us, and we can t lie.
@Wizzywig (7859)
28 Mar 10
I have heard a lot of people say they are "fair to middling" meaning they're not feeling too bad. Others will say "Can't complain" or "Mustn't grumble".
• Netherlands
28 Mar 10
It's a question you don't think about and you just shoot out that standard answer that is Fine, good, can't complain...
• United States
28 Mar 10
True i catch myself doing that all the time.
• China
28 Mar 10
As for me ,it's too easy to answer this question.When I start learning English,the teacher told me that when somebody say"how are you?" I should answer"I am fine".And I have learn English so many years but I never find anybody answered "I don't feel well "when they were asked "How are you"?Actually ,I am curious about if I can say"I don't feel well "or" so-so" when somebody ask me that "How are you?"
• Romania
28 Mar 10
Hi there, i want to say, that many times i answer just "so-so" to people who know me, just because i don t want let them to think that i will have humor, and i can be funny...i hate masks
@narayan2006 (2955)
• India
28 Mar 10
Most of the people always try to express their feelings in a positive spirit. Positive attitude to life gives one positive spirit to transform all misery,depression and pain in to opportunity for building new hopes,optimism and happiness. But I do not feel hesitant to express my true feelings and share my mental anxiety, if any with my close friends. Human behavior is very complex to comprehend from the very surface. The closer the relationship, more transparent and genuineness becomes the exchange of feelings and thoughts. To respond to your question, my answer is " pretty fine due to God's grace ". Have a nice day !!
• Romania
28 Mar 10
This is not like a mask? I know that people hate to wear, masks, how i can say; "i am fine" if i am angry or sad? of course i don t say this about when we know somebody not very good, i can t share with somebody unknown my problems.
@Hatley (164672)
• Garden Grove, California
29 Mar 10
marianna hi if the person know me I will really say how I feel, but a stranger I will not give him or her a long spiel of how I really feel, as far as they are concerned they are only being polite. I am fine will do just fine. My husband irked at being asked that over and over one day by people who darned well did not give a hoot, would start off,hi,oh I'm not at all well, maam.My digestions really off, my head aches, Ihave a sore foot, my nose just got broken, and I have tonsillitis today uh, where are you going?" by then the person has turned red and is beating a hasty retreat thinking this man has really flipped out. Then we would have a big laugh.