Saying, “Hi, how are you?” to someone you may or may not know is a very common greeting. We all have said it, but do you ever get an answer? Yes, unfortunately, sometimes we do. I have had people actually tell me all their problems, aches and pains in the first 2 minutes after the greeting. It’s just a social greeting, people. If I had time to listen to your whole soliloquy, I would meet you for coffee. Even when I don’t know the person, they lament about their life to me and anyone who will listen. Obviously, they need a sounding board, or maybe a Facebook page!
On the other side of the coin, I also don’t want to hear how great & awesome you are. Especially if you start to brag about how wonderful your life is and if you were any better you couldn’t stand yourself. Are you trying to convince yourself or me? You might think it sounds cute, but if you catch me on a bad day, or worse yet, if I have just lost a loved one or had a catastrophe, the last thing I want to listen to is your bragging.
This greeting is a social contract actually meant to be a quick, insincere salutation that requires the obligatory, “Fine and you” response. Nothing more; nothing less.
“Good day” or “Good evening” might be my salutation from now on. It does not require an answer! Hmmmm, sounds good to me.