How are you?

@BunGirl (2639)
United States
January 30, 2007 3:23pm CST
How many times a day do we all hear this question? How many times do we all ask it? It seems that "How are you" or some form of it has become a common form of greeting in our society. The problem is this. Of the thousands (millions?) of times you've heard this phrase, how many do you think have sincerely wanted to know? Most of the time when someone asks "How are you?" the response is automatic: "Good. How are you?" But what about the times when the answer is less standard? Do you honestly listen to the other person when they answer your question? It seems to me that would be the polite thing to do. Once, I actually overheard someone cut someone off from answering by saying "I don't really care. I was just being nice." So my challenge to all of you is this: Don't ask if you don't want to know. And if you do ask, be kind enough to listen to the other person's answer and respond to them appropriately. After all, it's the "nice" thing to do.
6 people like this
5 responses
@AskAlly (3626)
• Canada
30 Jan 07
How are you is a real North American thing. I saw an inteview with Sarah Ferguson once. She too was amazed at how often we asked how are you? Politely she would reply, but soon caught on that it was just a "pleasantry" that we use here. She was a bit taken aback when she found out that it usually not a sincere as it sounds. I use it with my friend and aquaintences, because I want to know or at least it gets a conversation going. I think most folks shy away from the response because what if it is negative.
@BunGirl (2639)
• United States
30 Jan 07
I only use it when I actually want to know too. It's upsetting because even close friends will answer "fine" or "good" when they're really not ok at all. I think we just get so programmed to respond a certain way that it comes out automatically, whether it's true or not!
1 person likes this
@sherinek (3321)
• United States
6 Feb 07
There are people who just ask this question for the sake of asking. I agree that it has become a phrase like "morning". Some people even dont stop to listen to the answer of the other person. I think this is basically because the people now adays dont have time to others. They are just busy and to keep good spirit they just SAY "how are you" not ASK.
2 people like this
@BunGirl (2639)
• United States
6 Feb 07
This is true. I think most people are too busy these days. We all need to learn to stop and take time for others!
1 person likes this
@crickethear (1417)
• United States
8 Feb 07
That bugs me too. I can't stand it when someone asks how are you, and then you say, oh not too good, and the reply, oh what is going on, and then you start to tell your story, and you can tell their mind is wondering, and that their body language is come on, hurry up, I really don't want to know.
2 people like this
@omidmao (744)
• India
30 Jan 07
,, anyway it was really nice and cool discussion , i really like this type of discussion , so i gave u + for this , have good time , thanks and good luck
2 people like this
@wesderby (178)
• United States
6 Feb 07
I, to, agree that it's just become part of a common greeting. I notice sometimes when I'm listening to talk radio, if a caller asks the host "How are you", there is one host in particular who, instead of answering, will ask, somewhat snidely, "Do you care?", and 99% of the time, the answer is "no". However, to ask, have someone strt answering, and then cut them off saying you don't care is REALLY rude and uncalled for.
@BunGirl (2639)
• United States
6 Feb 07
That radio host sounds like my kind of guy! LOL
1 person likes this
@wesderby (178)
• United States
7 Feb 07
Nah...You probably wouldn't like him. You may have heard of him, actually...Tom Leykis. I used to listen when I was in college, but got tired of his shtick pretty fast...Very Chauvanistic kind of guy.
1 person likes this
@BunGirl (2639)
• United States
8 Feb 07
Hmm... never heard of him, but then I don't really listen to talk radio much. Still, if you say he's a chauvinist, you're probably right -- I wouldn't like him much!
1 person likes this