It is in human nature to ask redundant questions.

How are you? I’ve never been a fan of this particular question. Why? It is a bit of a redundant question. It is nothing more than a conversation starter or a silence filler. Rarely does the person asking the question actually care about how you are doing. In fact, the typical answers for this question are “I’m fine” or “I’m OK”. Rarely does the individual actually answer the question.

“How are you” is a stupid question and a waste of time. IT is meant to be considerate and compassionate, but it could not be farther from it. Think about it. When was the last time you asked that question and cared to hear a detailed response?

Now I’m not saying a person who asks this question lacks compassion or does not care. Unfortunately, it is just human nature at this point. We are programmed like robots to ask this question every time we start a conversation with someone. It is something we all do, because it is all we have ever known. Unfortunately, we are very much creatures of habit.

I just want people to start looking at the question for what it really is and what it really means. It is a conversation starter or an ice breaker. It is nothing more than that and it is not meant to be anymore more than that.  It is really just a long winded hello to be honest.

Next time you ask or are asked the question “how are you?” stop and think about it. Why is that question coming up in the conversation? Are you actually going to give a detailed answer? Are you actually caring what response the person you asked is going to give? Maybe you could try being different and unique. Look for more than the typical “I’m fine” or “I’m OK”. You don’t have to conform. 

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  • lauralu on Nov 25, 2012

    Most people don’t really want an answer, this is so true an redundant state

  • Tiki33 on Nov 25, 2012

    You certainly got it right. Try answering the question and you’ll see that people will just tune you out.

  • gaby7 on Nov 25, 2012

    Unfortunately it has become part of conventional speach! I recently saw a man with a swollen head and torn ears, but was amused when someone asked him that same redundant question and he still thoughtlessly said, he was fine! The guy had plaster allover his head, how could he be fine? While you find a problem with the question, am even more bothered with the answers often given in response!

  • ladym33 on Nov 25, 2012

    That is probably the one question that gets the least honest responses. “How are you?” most say just fine or good, even if things are not just fine or good.

  • smokychristine on Nov 25, 2012

    Did people ever really want to know? It would be interesting to trace the history of the comment.

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