So, How are You?

Just a whimsical painting

Just a whimsical painting

IMG_1477

My latest attempt of painting our cat Daisy

How many of us, when we’re greeted with, “Hi how are you?”… feel the need to simply say, “Fine thanks!”

For me it’s a split second decision I make. Is this just a quick greeting, and I will give the expected response, or do I think that perhaps the person really does want to know how I am? I must admit that my first thought is to say… “fine thanks”.

If it is not a quick and passing comment, but in a conversation someone asks that question…. then again I have to think before I respond. My fear is that I will be considered to be complaining or asking for sympathy if I actually do share with them, how I really am. I also watch very closely if what I’m saying is ‘too much information’. There is of course the consideration that has to be taken into account; that the person who you’re speaking to someone that you want to share certain personal information with? That may give you the answer right off the bat… “fine thanks!’

I’m very conscious when I ask that question, that the person is aware, that I really do want to know!

Sometimes I think that I’m too self-conscious about this, and wonder if others think about it as much as I do.

So, having said all that, I really want to know; “How are you?”

24 thoughts on “So, How are You?

  1. A common question. How much info does the asker really want? I have been guilty of the dreaded TMI and trying to correct that. It’s a balance I suppose. I usually opt for the “I’m fine” response. It’s always safe.

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  2. Hi, this is something I think about quite often, so many times I have had people say “hi how are you?” to me in passing and they don’t even hang around for the answer. Not that I would hit them with a bunch of stuff but I feel like if you ask then hopefully you truly want an answer. So glad you genuinly want someone to answer you when you ask that question, I truly do too. Great post! And by the way in answer to your question… I am actually very good 🙂

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  3. This was a very interesting post. See, I’m always struggling with “How are you?” responses. I lived in Europe until age 46, and we don’t have such a greeting, and especially nobody would ask this a person who they don’t know. So, my normal reaction always was “Do you really care?”. Since it feels a very formal thing to me, but some other times like you’re saying you don’t want to make an impression as if complaining or something like that. I don’t think I will ever get used to this because for native people here it comes naturally, not for me. I’m a very direct and honest person and it is difficult for me to say “Fine, thanks” because quite often it might be anything, but fine. I don’t know, it is sort of too many words for just “Hi!”or “Hello!” which we were normally using in Europe.

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    • Yes, another blogger from a European country said much the same thing. A lot of people here do just say it out of habit as a greeting and that’s why I try and determine if they ‘really’ do want to know or just a passing comment. When I ask, I really do mean it. Diane

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  4. It’s been very hard for me over the last few days Diane, even with some more good news about my health.

    I won’t share about it now but will another time, I do appreciate you caring to ask how we feel and I ask others with the same intention.

    But on a humorous vein, when Shopping in Aussie Land, the Checkout Operators as they are trained, always ask how are you, so I sometimes say in jest but in a serious manner … “Well to be honest I feel terrible but I think it goes back to my Childhood, do you think you could spare a few hours so I can share with you about it, mostly they look at me stunned for a minute and I than smile and they laugh and go on ringing up my groceries, funny they always remember me.

    But one day after saying this to a Checkout Operator she said ….

    Yes that would be great as I’m doing a Physiology Course and need some practical face to face experience and would over lunch be OK, I was stunned, she smiled and I laughed. Lol I have never forgotten her.

    Thanks again Diane – Blessings – Anne

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    • I’m sorry you’ve had some difficult days… When you’re feeling up to it let me know if I can pray about anything specifically…
      It is funny sometimes when someone asks you how you are… because the odd time I say ‘how long have you got’… to which I get a quizzical sometimes worried look from the person… Diane

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  5. When I moved to the US and the first people asked me this question I was thinking ‘Wow! Someone wants to know how I am doing’. I soon figured out that they were not interested at all and that the phrase was just a greeting. I usually do answer ‘Fine! Thanks!’ Only if I know someone better I do grin and ask ‘Do you really want to know?’ Some do 🙂

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  6. Things are decent. I wonder if they are going to good because I play it to safe because of my anxiety… Not for sure if I told you what happend a few months ago? anyway come to find out that I have panic attacks, which occur WITH being on my medicine. How are you? is a loaded question these days and a few times lately when people ask me this I have let them know because hey they asked.If by chance they did not want to know then it most likely won’t happen again. I do agree that we can’t tell everyone everything. I am learning boundaries lately which is a good thing, but I myself am known for prying if I can tell something is wrong with someone. Which I am real sensitive too and that bothers me as well. I better go this is getting to long actually I think I broke a blogging rule. Good post it’s spot on!

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    • Rules are meant sometimes to break. Boundaries are good if it helps you know who to share with and who is really interested. Also that they might be able to encourage and even have some words that help. I’m very sensitive too and can usually tell if something’s wrong. I hope you get your meds straightened out. If they give you feelings of anxiety you might tell the doctor and perhaps they will reduce the dosage or change it totally. Only you know what you are feeling…Diane

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  7. There is a popular answer to this question here which translates to ‘everything will be OK’. So, you’re saying you aren’t feeling great and things are tough, but on the other hand, like you say, no complaining and listing all the things that are going on. Plus, when you say ‘everything will be OK’, I have never had anyone say back to me ‘what will be OK?’ or ‘what is the problem?’, I just get a ‘yes it will’.

    Wow Diane, that painting with the blue flowers are amazing, really! They jump out of the canvas because you’ve managed to make them look almost real and 3D!! Beautiful.

    xxxx

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    • Is that a Jewish cultural response do you think? I’m surprised no one says ‘what will be alright’? Thanks for the comment re the painting… … when I finished that painting I thought they looked a little like pansies…Diane

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  8. I’m very aware of it and I rarely answer “fine.” I usually say “I’m okay.” If someone responds to my “How are you?” in a similar way, I will ask if they’re really okay.

    Right now, I’m so so. How are you doing?

    Your art is awesome as always. I look at the painting you sent me often and it brings me comfort. xo

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    • That’s another way of ‘testing the water’ so to speak… If you say ‘okay’ and they follow up with another question…. You’ve got a few things going on.. I’m so hoping you get some relief in more than one area… I’m still waiting… having a test ‘gastroscopy’ on April 2nd…
      That is sweet of you to say about the paintings… thanks…. Diane

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  9. Hi Diane! Love your paintings! You’re very talented. My daughter paints, and it’s something I want to learn more about someday.To answer your question, I am very tired at the moment from working very long days lately, but I love what I do, so things could always be worse. Thanks for asking! How are you feeling?

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