“How are you?”

I answer the telephone and direct callers to different departments for my job.  The phrase I use when answering is ‘Good morning/afternoon, how may I direct your call?”  Most people just answer my question and I can direct them quickly and efficiently.  Occasionally, I get someone who asks me “How are you?”  To which I answer: “I’m doing well, thank you.  How may I direct your call?”  That way I can keep the calls flowing.  However, I sometimes get someone who asks me “How are you?” and then goes right on into their question.  Not even waiting for me to even respond.

It really made me think about how flippantly that this phrase is used and thrown out.  When someone asks “How are you?” and doesn’t even wait for your answer, it comes across as a cheap greeting.  I always wonder whey they even bothered asking, when they obviously don’t care.

Then there is the generic response of “Fine”, “Good” or “Well”.  I totally admit I use those terms when I don’t want to share with someone how I’m really doing.  Most people are shocked and feel uncomfortable when they ask “How are you?” and someone gives them more than a one word answer.  When they are being actually honest with how they really are doing.

However, I love it when a good friend asks, and waits for your response.  Wanting to truly know how you are doing.  And if you hesitate, not being afraid to gently dig and get to know the truth.  There is something amazing in someone wanting to know you and honestly wanting an answer to “How are you?”

Author: graceintherain

I'm follower of Christ learning about life, love, and grace in the rainy Northwest. I love coffee, good conversation, baking, and hanging out with my cat.

One thought on ““How are you?””

  1. I agree, it’s more like another option for “hello” than a question. Unless it’s from a friend, I don’t usually like to be asked how I am because if I’m not actually “good” then I’m at a bit of a loss as to how to respond. I end up saying “I’m OK” and while some people either are satisfied with it or recognize that I don’t want to share personal details with them, others plow right on with “oh why just OK?” … I’m not sure if the people who ask why are genuinely concerned or simply nosy… Perhaps I’m too cynical…

    In any case, I say ditto to your post 🙂

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