Adults have this annoying habit of constantly asking people how they are. As passable adults it is likely that we ask this less because we know that the answers are far from straight forward, and we’ve yet to perfect that – Nod – Smile – “Great thanks”- thing that real adults do. There’s still a distinct sadness in our eyes that gives the game away and will force the asker to lengthen their R’s. “No, really, how arrrrreee you?”.
Those extra R’s are fucking awful.
You know I’m having a shit time and I will launch into a 3 hour breakdown of my breakdown.
There are several different ways that “How are you?” is asked.
There’s the polite, quick, “Hello! How are you?” this one is great, this is easy to – Nod – Smile – “Great thanks” – to. It’s usually the precursor to a whole bunch of other “How are you?”‘s but depending on how terrible the asker is, will depend on the following “How are you?”‘s.
If they are not so terrible they will adapt from “How are you?” to “How’s things?”. It will be brief, there will be genuine interest and their head will remain in the same position whilst they ask and listen to the answer.
The really terrible ones will add a head tilt. That head tilt usually mean “Girl, you look like crap. What happened?” or they already know what happened, but want a more in depth analysis so that they can compare their own troubles and feel infinitely better about themselves.
The big problem with “How are you” is that what you really want to do is say “Things have been really crap, but I’m so much better now and this is good, and that is good, and I’m smashing life right now” but people still insist on asking you how you are when you are still working towards smashing it.
As a passable adult who is still very much living on that very thin line between “Yeah I’m good” and “Not so great, I got real anxious, lost my job, killed a man, accidentally used hairspray instead of deodorant, and I’ve not had a date since 2012” you may well need to avoid situations where the question is asked. High school reunions are obviously a great big no unless you can convincingly spin working in a call centre into “Yeah, I work in sales”.
Another big tip is making sure you maintain regular contact with all friends, therefore a full rundown of all of your recent failings is just not needed, people are much less likely to do the head tilt if you’ve only missed out on a promotion and not missed out on the promotion, started seeing your ex again and thought cutting your own fringe would be a good idea.
If you simply can’t avoid these situations and you are faced with a “How are you?” that you just really don’t want to answer, one way you can manage it is to just recycle the “How are you?”. Just keep on saying “Good thanks, how are YOU?” until one of you gives up and admits that you’ve put on so much weight you split your jeans the other day and can’t afford to buy new ones.