It bothers me immensely that when you see someone in the hallway, in addition to just saying hi, you feel compelled to say, "How are you?"
This happens to me all the time. I'll exchanged hi's with someone, and then they'll say, "How are you?" And I'll say "fine" or "good." And a lot of the time, I'm not fine or good, but what else am I supposed to say? They've already practically walked past me.
And then of course, I'll have to say back, "And how are you?" And then they answer "fine" or "good" except I'm not even sure because we already passed each other five minutes ago.
Why do we say that? We don't actually care how the other person is feeling. If we did, we'd stop walking.
The other day, I did the whole exchange with someone in the hall, and they responded to me, "Uh, not that great." And I was like, shit. I have to be at a meeting in about thirty seconds and I don't have time to delve into this further, although I wish I could. But if I don't care about the answer, then why ask?
I propose that we stop the automatic asking "how are you" unless you actually care and want to hear how the other person is.
You know what's worse? When you respond, "good," return the inquiry, and they respond, "well." Because in addition to not giving a crap about you, they'ev now also corrected your grammar.ReplyDelete
My husband does that all the damn time. I answer incorrectly on purpose (Well Job)....he's such a PITADelete
You and I are kindred spirits.Delete
Actually, responding with "well" to "how are you" is incorrect, unless you say "I'm DOING well" or if the question was "How are you doing?" Because if you're describing your state of being, "good" is the correct response.Delete
People responding with "well" to "how are you" is a pet peeve of mine. They want to sound more intelligent, but they actually sound like an idiot.
I hate that too!!! But I still do it... Guess it's sometimes awkward just to say "Hi."ReplyDelete
This whole thing wears me out. It's the same after a weekend, when you go on vacation or have time off for a holiday or something. When you get back it's "How as your weekend, vacation etc?". I feel like a total curmudgeon about this because I just dread it!, Oh and the other one is "So what are you plans for,,the weekend, holiday etc.?" I don't have a big social life and I usually respond with a simple "No". I can see the disappointment on people's faces when I have NOTHING of interest to share. I don't want to share with them that I have laundry, grocery shopping, cleaning, catching up on email, phone calls etc, because who doesn't? .just seems like we all say these things because of some kind of group-think reflex when we first see each other after relatively short periods or not seeing each other. It's weird.ReplyDelete
I remember my Chinese teacher complaining about this "custom" too. In many parts of Asia, people will stop even briefly to respond and return the inquiry. Whether or not someone is honest about their response is, of course, still up to the person.ReplyDelete
Working reception in a chiropractic office I was taught never to ask How are you, especially to the elderly patients......ReplyDelete
Good tip! Unless you have 30 minutes to kill... I've learned not to ask my MIL that question, either. She launches into a litany of complaints that leaves me depressed & late to where ever I'm headed.Delete