Friday, December 30, 2011

How Are You?

How are you? (hahaha)
So, what I think of when someone says that depends on HOW he/she says that!  If, it is offhand and just like a greeting then I wish they would just say "Hi." In those cases I just say "hi" back to them.  I can't tell he/she is not really interested in HOW I am!  But, when a friend or long time unseen acquaintance asks it with eye contact and true interest I soften a bit.  I may not say more than "I'm doing well", or "fine, how are you", but at least its not as off putting as the person who uses it as a greeting! Ugh! That is irritating.  Kind of like Joey on Friends... Very rarely though, will I actually answer the real question, "how are you?" with an honest response.  I would only do that with a very close friend. 


Friday, December 23, 2011

How Are You?

Hi Laura!

There is one lady who has worked here in this building for must be about 30 years, who always responds, “I am here.”   She has answered this way ever since I’ve known her.

I answer differently depending on who asks me.  If somebody I don’t see every day asks me and they are walking down the hall really quick, or they are in upper echelons of administration, I always say “okay” no matter how crappy I feel.  And I usually don’t ask them back how they are.  I’ve always wondered why people ask the question if they don’t want to wait for the answer.  It still feels rude to me even though I know everybody does it.

We have one person who works here that absolutely hates it when people ask him how he is.  He has gone so far to get angry and say well don’t ask me if you don’t want an answer.  And if he does answer, it can go on for quite some time.  I usually just tell him a simple “Good morning”, and that seems to suffice.  He can answer back or not, depending on what he feels like.

But when my coworker asks in the morning, I know I can tell her the truth.  I am not a morning person, so I try to not drag it out much but she doesn’t usually get an “okay”.  I ask her back and usually I get a short story about the birds in her yard or how her garden is or her dogs.  She definitely is a morning person and usually feels pretty good.

The kids usually answer on a scale of 1 to 10, especially during football season.

Do you ever get the feeling that when family you haven’t seen for a while asks you how you are, and you are single, that they are really asking if you have anybody special in your life? AS, Brookings, SD

Friday, December 16, 2011

How Are You?

Laura - how about - "Becoming more fully individuated every day!"
(Hoping that's not too "inflated.") :) -JL, OR

Monday, December 12, 2011

How Are You?

First response I thought of was "I'm tired"!  Lame I know!  :(

Blessings to you! LC, Beaverton, OR

Saturday, December 10, 2011

How Are You?

I say, "Sometimes I'm better, and sometimes I am worse."  "How are you?" And I really wait for the answer.

Do you answer?

Cheers! PD, Salem, OR

Sunday, December 4, 2011

How Are You?

After my dad died, my mother had great distain for the question: "How are you," as she pointed out that no one wanted to hear how things really are. As a child, I was always glad she was polite, and never expressed such. As an adult, I can have more empathy for her thoughts, but I've always felt that the question is as open as a face.

Behind the question, what I think they are yearning for is something to enjoy. Could you imagine that the real answer to the question is smiling? Our current world is filled with unknowns, disappointments, dangers, planes-going-into-skyscrapers, and other depressing stuff. If I get eye contact, a smile seems to be the best response. If I don't get eye contact, I make my best vocal impression of Godzilla at work. In three seconds or less, they always look up.

Many times I answer "super" then turn the question back to them. The response is always "fine" or "not bad" to which I raise my left eyebrow, smile brightly at them, and point out that it appears I'm doing better --because super is much better than fine or not bad. Usually they chuckle, and the ice is broken a little more. To pull this off, you'll need to up your Irish when speaking, or you could come off as a prosecuting attorney.

Seamus X Kennedy, Portland, OR

Saturday, November 26, 2011

How Are You?

"How are you?"

"Couldn't be better."

"I don't hear that very often", the man at Home Depot said.

"You're right!" I replied.

This prompted a conversation with a very nice man who was having a bad day.

It was 115 degrees in Surprise and he was outside stacking heavy ceramic pots.

I know how this feels having worked at Fred Meyer.

We probably talked for 15 minutes. I just stood on admiring him for his hard work.

Do you think he felt better about his day after that?
JD, Surprise, AZ

Monday, November 21, 2011

Query For HAY Responses

Hi Everyone,
I've been inspired to start working on a writing project that's been in the back of my mind for some time.
Would you please share with me what some of your favorite responses are to that common greeting in the US, "How are you?" Most of us simply say, "Fine," knowing the person asking doesn't really want to's just a greeting.
When I say favorite responses, I mean not only what you actually say, but what you wish you could say, in honesty, or might like to hear from the person asking "How are you?"
Your responses can be funny, irreverant, true, filled with cuss words, kind, deep, dark...whatever pops into your mind!
I'm really looking forward to your input, friends!
Blessings & Best Wishes, Laura
Laura Handke
Author of Six Degrees to Your Dreams, Editor's Choice Award recipient, iUniverse
See me on Facebook!
Transformational Voice Training Institute Teacher,
Certified Oneness Deeksha Giver
Reiki Practitioner, Level II
One should lie empty, open, choiceless as a beach--waiting for a gift from the sea. - Anne Morrow Lindbergh
Vision without action is a daydream; action without vision in a nightmare. - Japanese Proverb

Friday, November 11, 2011

HOW AM I DOING? The HAY question. (Hello, REALLY, like you want to know?!)

I met a man from the Netherlands a few years ago. He’s the first Danish man I had met and he was kind enough to answer all my blazing questions about life in Denmark and what the transition to living in the States was like.

Hindrik said the single most difficult part of adjusting to life in the United States was how everybody asks, “How are you?” in way of a greeting. He said in Europe, if you ask that question, it’s because you really want to know…and you’d better be prepared for a long answer.

I so glommed onto that, and it got me doing a little experimenting, and internal questioning. Why are you asking how I am if you don’t even know me? The check-out person in the grocery store. A teacher I’ve known for years but clearly is asking as she’s moving to the next class and doesn’t want to hear an answer other than “fine.”

The most honest response I’ve gotten in quite a while was today, when I walked into a lovely gift and framing shop close by my home I’ve been meaning to check out for some time. This afternoon, I finally did.

When the proprietor asked, “How are you?” I answered, “Excellent,” which was true. I’d been having an excellent day and was in an excellent mood. I countered, “And you?” She said, “Not quite excellent, but getting closer.”

Yeay! I got an honest answer!! As I went through the shop, I learned they had just expanded and were in the process of re-organizing everything in the store and she likened the place to a construction site. Hence…getting closer to excellent.

For a while after this question started to annoy me, maybe two or three months, I tried to boycott the HOW ARE YOU (HAY) question.

I would answer, “Gosh, isn’t it wonderful the sun came out today after all that rain? What are you up to this afternoon?”

“I’m thinking that is a gorgeous dress you’re wearing…where did you get it, and was it on sale?”

Sometimes I got the sense people felt dismissed. Sometimes they would ask again, “But, how are you?”

As soon as I said, “Fine,” they seemed to feel more comfortable.

So, this question isn’t necessarily about the recipient of the question, it’s about the person who asks the HAY question wanting to feel more comfortable.