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   What is the psychology of "How are you"
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   Author  Topic: What is the psychology of "How are you"  (Read 14400 times)
puzzlecracker
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What is the psychology of "How are you"  
« on: Oct 4th, 2007, 5:29pm »
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In my company, I am always asked this question by superiors , underlings, well - everyone. In the case of superiors, I always reply with "Not bad" or "pretty good.", etc; and to others, "What is up man?" or just "Hey!"  
 
I know  my bosses couldn't care less about my answers, but I still do - maybe it's a social decorum permeating my psychology,  in fear  that refusing to provide the answer may have adverse consequences?  
 
How do other deal  with this phenomenon?  
 
 
Thoughts?
« Last Edit: Oct 4th, 2007, 5:30pm by puzzlecracker » IP Logged

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Re: What is the psychology of "How are you&qu  
« Reply #1 on: Oct 4th, 2007, 5:54pm »
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Whenever a teacher or someone I don't know asks me that, I pretty much always use the same response: "Good, thanks, you?" It answers the question and throws it back at them in 3 words, at the same time maintaining proper respect. Maybe because it's high school, but me and my friends don't start off conversations this way.
 
I do think that the question has been used so often that it's just a formality, and your response doesn't say anything about you, unless you were to say something like, "Oh, terrible, thanks." Consider a handshake: I've heard in some places that the type of grip you use in a handshake can tell something about you. But when you shake hands with someone, do you really size them up based on the handshake? Probably not; you do it without thinking because that's what we're supposed to do, in a way. Similarly, I think the question "How are you?" and the usual responses are just formalities.
 
EDIT: To go a little deeper, even if you were feeling a bit bad or discouraged, you probably shouldn't say so; maybe, "Fine, thanks," but other than that, any negative answer would draw the conversation towards your emotion, which probably wasn't the intent of the person who initiated the conversation.
« Last Edit: Oct 4th, 2007, 5:57pm by FiBsTeR » IP Logged
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Re: What is the psychology of "How are you&qu  
« Reply #2 on: Oct 4th, 2007, 6:08pm »
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Depends.
 
Judging on the formality of the situation...
 
My standard response is "Devilish..." with a quick Elvis snarl, a flick of the eyebrow, and a voice akin to Roger Moore.
 
Or "naughty..."
 
"Been worse. Been better"
 
"Ah... yeah..."
 
 
Use this knowledge wisely....
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Re: What is the psychology of "How are you&qu  
« Reply #3 on: Oct 4th, 2007, 9:01pm »
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It all comes down the enviroment you grow up in. Growing up in a multi-racial environment, it's quite interesting to observe the various ways people greet each other. The malays usually greet with "Assalamualaikum" meaning "peace be upon you". The local chinese ( I'm not sure if its the same abroad ), they greet each other by asking, "Have you eaten ?" The local indians, on the other hand, are even more unique, they usually start off their conversation from where they last had it, be it a day before, or even a week before. In fact, we all have our own way of greeting.  
 
Of course, teenagers have their own way of greeting, (e.g. wasssssuuup ) most of it might seem alien to us old guys. ( Not yet 30, and already feel alienated )
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Re: What is the psychology of "How are you&qu  
« Reply #4 on: Oct 5th, 2007, 1:03am »
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I typically respond with something like "Fine.. You?"
I'm fairly sure they don't really want a self-analysis of my status, and even if they do, I'm no good at it. Frankly I don't know how I am, most of the time.
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Re: What is the psychology of "How are you&am  
« Reply #5 on: Oct 5th, 2007, 1:06am »
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on Oct 4th, 2007, 9:01pm, JiNbOtAk wrote:

Of course, teenagers have their own way of greeting, (e.g. wasssssuuup ) most of it might seem alien to us old guys. ( Not yet 30, and already feel alienated )

LOL!!! True. Why would you feel alienated?
 
One of my friend's dad, is always using the words 1337 (pronounced leet), sick, MF and so forth. He's 53. All you have to do, is find some teenagers, and listen to them.
I was once over at his house and his dad walks up to us and goes "Damn, man, these cookies are so 1337; Arnotts got seriously pwned."
 
My general response is to dodge the question and ask it myself. If they notice, I'll respond with, "I've been better".
« Last Edit: Oct 5th, 2007, 1:07am by mikedagr8 » IP Logged

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Re: What is the psychology of "How are you&am  
« Reply #6 on: Oct 5th, 2007, 2:33am »
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on Oct 5th, 2007, 1:06am, mikedagr8 wrote:
My general response is to dodge the question and ask it myself. If they notice, I'll respond with, "I've been better".

 
Ahh, but why would you choose to respond with "I've been better." ? Wouldn't it be better if you say "I've been worse." ?  Roll Eyes
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Re: What is the psychology of "How are you&am  
« Reply #7 on: Oct 5th, 2007, 2:42am »
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on Oct 5th, 2007, 2:33am, JiNbOtAk wrote:

 
Ahh, but why would you choose to respond with "I've been better." ? Wouldn't it be better if you say "I've been worse." ? Roll Eyes

It depends on whether I like the person or not.
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Re: What is the psychology of "How are you&qu  
« Reply #8 on: Oct 5th, 2007, 11:16am »
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When someone asks me "how are you?", i stand there and ponder over that question for a long time. By the time, i am ready with my answer, the other person usually says "its ok, you dont really have to push yourself so hard".
 
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Re: What is the psychology of "How are you&qu  
« Reply #9 on: Oct 6th, 2007, 5:00am »
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I generally take the view that asking "How are you?" is generally providing an invitation to say if there's any specific problem the person being asked wishes to talk about. Replying something like "Not bad", "OK", "Fine, thankyou", or some other variation on that theme is actually saying "I don't have any real issues I wish to discuss at this time", and so leaves the conversation free to end, continue as small talk, or head in the direction the other person wanted to go in anyway.
 
In general, I opt for "Not bad, thanks" when someone asks me how I am, but that's just my personal preference.
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Re: What is the psychology of "How are you&am  
« Reply #10 on: Jan 30th, 2008, 4:23pm »
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well, it depends on so many things, like for the teen agers, they grew up in a different world compared to you.
They also a different relations with the people they ask.
 
I respond mostly neutrually, for i am more of a neutrual guy, 7ph, the stuff
 
but your upper boss, has to worry about all the people in your facility, and cannot absorb all the info that he has been asking for.
 
My god, (father, son, holy spirit) something i understand God,(father, son, holy spirit), how can i explain
 
I think the greeting has become a subconsious question to find the general feelings of the person
 
For example, i asked some of my (people in the room) how they were, and they did not ask how i was back, so that my imply that they were (indeed) busy.
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Re: What is the psychology of "How are you&qu  
« Reply #11 on: Apr 1st, 2008, 7:22pm »
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I find that the whole "how are you" thing is a script with very little variation, and serves as little more than a hello or a way to start a conversation with someone.  
 
Typically, I try to break the script. I answer "Incredible!" Just like that, capital I, ending with the exclamation mark. I get some funny looks, but that's okay! It makes people (including me) smile.    Grin
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Re: What is the psychology of "How are you&qu  
« Reply #12 on: Jun 13th, 2014, 5:26am »
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It depends on the culture. In my language people almost never asks "How are you", they just say "Hello".
 
For me it is quite strange when I go to London and everybody says "How are you" sounds not sincere but later you understand that it is just other kind of Hello Smiley
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Re: What is the psychology of "How are you&qu  
« Reply #13 on: Jul 19th, 2014, 12:08am »
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yes, of course, it is depend upon the culture.
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Re: What is the psychology of "How are you&qu  
« Reply #14 on: Aug 18th, 2014, 5:35pm »
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I think it comes to the point of courtesy. Some of us can ignore easily and some cant!
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