Saturday, July 2, 2011

The Automatic Response (or, "Why I dislike the 'How are you' question")

Typical conversation with friends I barely know:

Me: Heya
Them: Hi
Me: How're you?
Them: Good. You?
Me: Good.
Them: What's up?
Me: Ntm. You?
Them: Same.
*more silence*

Then it either ends, or I start either babbling on or prying more info out of them.

Typical conversation, same day, with a good friend:

Me: Heya
Them: Hey
Me: So today has been a really good day and I'm very happy...but I'm feeling a little sick, so if you could pray?
Them: Of course. I'm kind of sick too
Me: :( Reciprocal prayers, then.
Them: Thanks. I went water-skiing yesterday--so much fun!
Me: Oh, cool! I just stayed home, but it was relaxing.

The difference? With people I know well, we can bypass the 'how are you' 'I'm good'! As you can see by my lovely and informative title, I'm not a fan of that phrase. My reason is that with nearly everyone, you will only receive an automatic 'I'm good' answer. I do this myself!

Even on my best or worst days, if someone asks me how I am--even if it's someone I'm close to--I respond with 'I'm good.' Then if we're close I'll amend that with, 'Actually...' But my point is, it's not necessary in the first place. It takes up time and it serves no purpose.

If I'm close enough to someone, they're going to tell me how they REALLY are, even if I don't ask. And I'll do the same. That, in my mind, is how it should be.

(Of course I'll still ask it of acquaintances, to be polite...and in anticipation of the rare occasion that the answer is different than normal.)

So, my lovely readers, I'm sorry, but I'm not going to ask how you are. I hope you tell me anyway! :)