How To Answer The Question: Hi, How Are You?

Let me fist of all just say one thing: Do yourself and the rest of us, to never answer this question with  just “fine”, or other blatantly boring pleasantries.

I know the question “how are you” have become one of those meaningless social rituals where you are supposed to do the boring rite of exchange: (“how are you?” “fine thanks, and you?” “fine”)

Disclaimer: If you are at a job interview or talking to your boss you might just wanna answer the question with “fine”. but toward every body else, please be creative.

Back in the days, I hated answering a question like this, because I felt it only lead to really boring conversation, and often it would even lead to awkward silence at the end because the short exchange of word have no real substance, so I decided to prepare myself and thus come up with a few funny answers.

Now a days I actually don’t use the “standard” answers listed below, I event think Its kind of bad idea to use them, because when you use canned material out in the real world then you are often NOT going to be really present in that moment, instead of concentrating on the now, you will be concentration on remembering the line, and thus you risk to come of caned or just off. But that being set I will admit that these standard answers are better than most other people’s boring real-life answers, and they definitely helped me at some point, so I have decided to post them here anyway. Just know that they are a prop, and you shouldn’t use them forever, at some point you have to try to make it up on the spot, that the only way to make something real and funny.

The Art of Answering the question: “Hi, How are you?”

“How are you?” are maybe the most frequently asked question in the whole world, the funny thing is that it is that the most people who ask this question ask you out of courtesy, only few ask because they have a real concern for you. This is in fact also why these questions often lead to very boring conversation, but you can avoid this by breaking the pattern by not answering what they expect you to answer. If you answer this question in an interesting and uncommon manner, it will positively set you apart from the rest.

Everyone is expecting you to say: Fine thank.. and you? In my experience I can be funny to do the exact opposite of they expect, here is an example:

  • NOT GOOD!! I’m going through my most mayor life crisis so far.. ..and just can’t decide whether to xx or yy (xx and yy should be something silly)
  • my right pinky toe feels funny, and I’m moody because I have to go grocery shopping later with my wife..
  • You know.. it’s just one of those days.. work, eat sleep, hmm (thinking) NO actually is more gonna be like: work, eat dinner, eat candy, pet the kat, eat cake, watch tv, eat cake,  burp, eat some more cake, go to bed, can’t sleep coz of sugar-rush, go pee, eat cake, watch the beginning of a movie while eating chocolate and drinking a little bit of beer and then sleeping..
  • Not great, I just got tested positive with HIV… (looking very sad) [awkward silence] you know: handsome, intelligent and Very Charming.
  • What can I say – One Word – Sexual frustrated – and kind of Horny (big smile), ..no im kidding.
  • What can I say – One Word – Phenomenal
  • No good, it has just been the most awful day in my life.. I ran out of milk this morning.
  • Never say: “fine”: Though if you still wishes to communicate that you are fine, instead say: wonderful, fantastic, use other words than “fine”, I think that “fine” are overused.
  • ” I think I feel like how you look today, Superb!

Interesting one word answers to the question (how are you?):

Refer to your physical appearance:

  • “breathless” if i’d just run in from outdoors
  • “wet” if i just came in from the rain
  • “humid” if i just came in from a lousy hot day

Refer to your mood in that moment:

  • “deeply sleepy”,
  • “miffed”,
  • “inflated”
  • -> make up something funny, a funny (but known feeling).

Situational Answers to the question (how are you?)

If the clerk at the supermarket ask you:

  • Ah, NOT GOOD, my shopping killing me, and the arthritis in my hand doesn’t really help, and my grandchildren never calls…. Ohh wait…that’s grandma’s line… hm I’m actually wonderful how are you?”

If you catch your self replying “fine” then here is how I used to fix it.

  • Fine.. I mean fine in a way that not fine.. (and then just take it from: “im actually NOT GOOD at all…” like above)

A side note: Should you ask others this question: Hi, How are you?

Well here is my advice, if you do not really care about what the other person answer to the question, like if you are just asking to be polite, then simply don’t ask, to many people walk around blurping out this you question while not caring for the reply, they seem sick of going through the motions of this question, so i my opinion they should simply just stop.

Warning: Before you memorize the line above please remember that caned material are verbal crutches that are not good for your conversation skills in the long run, but they can offer some help in the beginning and help you get started.

Lastly, here are some overall guidelines about answering question:

  • If she tell you she doesn’t like something (maybe about someone something like that) tell her that you are exactly like that.
  • If you don’t have a funny answer, say: “guess” this will give you a moment to re-think.
  • Avoid to ask question – Statements are far better at generating conversation
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Hey Markus here, I'm the founder and humble author this website.    

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