How to Answer the Question, “How Are You?”

“How are you?”

How am I in this particular second, as I read your face and try to discern whether or not you actually care about my response to this question? Or how was I 10 seconds ago, when I seized up with anxiety at the thought of entering this meeting?

“How are you?”

Okay, and I thank you for asking, but before I really get down into it, I just need to know: Why are you asking, really?

“How are you?”

Alright but — how much time do we have? I mean, I’m happy to share details about my life with you, but I need to know how to structure the length of my story in my answer. Do I have until the next person walks in this room? Until I’m done talking? Or until you’re done listening?

“I’m good. Thanks!”

“No, I mean… how are you? Really.”

Look, I really want to answer that question. And I know my dodgy attitude is making it look like I have something to hide, but I’m telling you, it’s really not that simple. Yesterday alone, I experienced 80 different emotional states. (And to think — this was on a weekend, no less! On a work day, I might hit 80 states before noon!)

“Okay, let’s try something else. Just tell me this. Are you happy?”

WHOA. Okay, you think THAT’S an easier question for me to answer without any warning? That is highly inappropriate, and you are a monster for even bringing that up.

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Bethany Crystal

Bethany Crystal

A little bit web2, a little bit web3… Today’s projects: @Bolster & @Zeitgeist_xyz , board @CompSci_High ; ex @USV , @StackOverflow , alum of @Northwes