Do you go through a momentary crisis whenever someone asks “how are you?” Do you wonder if they actually want to know the answer? Do you often drop out of conversations because you have no idea how to answer properly? Keep reading to learn the 3 universal methods of completing the how-are-you challenge.
- The completely honest answer. This should be reserved for close friends. Only divulge your true state of being when you are absolutely sure that the other person a) actually cares and b) has enough background knowledge to understand why/how you reached that state. If they ask follow-up questions, you should be prepared and comfortable with answering them. Both parties should benefit from this conversation, and it should ultimately bring you closer together.
- The choosy answer. This method is best utilized when you have significant time to plan your reply. The first step is determining what archetype your conversation partner fits into. Use the archetype to further decide what information you are willing to tell this person. For example, if your co-worker asks how your weekend went, it is perfectly acceptable to just say that you went to the lake with friends. You do not, however, need to specify that you went to the lake with friends to have a threesome. The goal of this method is to engage in honest (although limited) conversation so you at least appear to be human.
- Lie and move on. This is when you say “I’m good.” Everyone knows that “how are you?” is most often a segue to get to a question that is actually engaging. It is generally best for both parties to get through this stupid and unnecessary transition as quickly as possible. Alternatively, “how are you?” is often used when the person asking wants to start a conversation but they expect you to supply all of the substance. Use this method if you can’t be bothered.
With these 3 techniques, you’ll be able to face any how-are-you challenge life throws at you.
(This has been a public service announcement brought to you by End Small Talk Now, a non-profit organization.)