“How are you?”, Three words I fear the most.Every person you meet on the road has the same question.Why can’t we be more creative in our inquiry?
I am tired of replying “I am OK”.I know, I can be more innovative in my answer.Out of sheer frustration, I devised an interesting strategy to tackle this fear.
My answer will depend upon whether I want to extend the conversation or not?
When an obnoxious weed asks me those three dreaded words.
I say “I am Getting worse, just because I saw you” or “Happy until you showed up”
or “your presence is taking me into deeper levels of anxiety”.
These usually work in quickly killing the conversation.Be as caustic and dark as you can be.
When a Wellwisher, out of habit, utters those 3 boring words
I say “Good, Now even better hearing your voice” or “Great, buddy, you look awesome too”
When my boss asks me(out of formality), those 3 common words.
I say “OK”, When I really wanted to say ” I am fine but I hope you die soon in a car crash”
When my friend asks me, I say “Buddy, enough of this formality, tell me what you want”.
When my mother asks me, I say exactly how I am, but then, she can`t take it, So I improvise to make my story look better.
When folks ask you “How are you?” Are they really concerned about you?
Most of them are just waiting to hear a sad story from you.If you say you are happy, they are immensely disappointed.Happiness is not appreciated everywhere.When they are asking “How are you?” They actually mean,”I hope Your life is worse than mine because I want to earn a false sense of satisfaction and just enough brownie points to raise my happiness quotient”.Not everyone is thinking on similar lines though.This is applicable to jerks you meet on the road.Beware there are quite a few.
How would you deal with folks who use “How are you” for all the wrong reasons.There is a simple way.Kill them with interesting and kind remarks.Nothing kills faster than a kind word.
Not all users of this phrase intend to harm you.Watch body language and tone of voice when folks use this uninteresting phrase.If they are genuine, then respond politely otherwise use your caustic superpower to burn them.That’s how you eliminate jerks from your life.It’s important to identify the real ones from a hypocritical narcissist asshole.Don’t be lazy in this effort of distinction.It will drastically change your life.
Anti GrammarNazi(AGN) Friend: Okay, Shailesh, I know you hate this phrase but what are the options?
Me(enthusiastically): There are plenty.Just Say “You look great” if the other sapien looks happy or if he/she is suffering you can say “I understand buddy, I am just a phone call away” or if another sapien is not interested in small talk,just smile and say nothing.Trust me it works most of the time.But if you ask someone “how are you?” after they have lost their family or they have been heartbroken, You will be added in their jerk file.Be sensitive, empathetic and compassionate before shooting those three dreaded words.
AGN friend: Wow, but that requires some effort, buddy.I think I will stick to the common phrase.
Me: Whatever man, Anyways you will be on my jerk list.I am disappointed I couldn’t convert you.
Don’t ask me “How are you?” Be creative, dark or even caustic.Never be boring.I hate this overused three-word phrase.
So “How are you?” today.