Whether you’re a school/college student, working in a corporate sector, or own any kind of business, conversations have to be an integral part of your daily life. Even the stay-at-home parents and elderly have someone or the other that they come across or interact with on a regular basis.
While most conversations start with a greeting such as hi, hey, hello, good morning, and so on, some also begin with a question.
And trust us when we say this: a majority of people the latter.
This is because it not only lends some gravitas to the conversation but could also potentially bring them a response more interesting than a simple reiteration of a greeting such as:
Hello. Hello to you, too!
Good morning. Good morning!
“How are you doing?” is one such question: often used by people to start a conversation.
But before you dismiss it solely as that, remember that often is the keyword here.
Want to figure out what to say when someone asks you this question? Stick with us till the end to find some befitting answers to this question.
Why People Ask How Are You Doing
A common mistake most people make while interacting with others is to speak or respond too quickly. We understand that it’s usually an instinctive response, but if you just give yourself a second to think before words come out of your mouth, wouldn’t you be able to answer it in a better manner?
This 1-second-thinking habit is not limited to answering this question but is actually a very useful social behavior that you could learn to polish your interpersonal skills.
So, the next time you’re asked how are you doing, before answering right away, think about why the next person might have asked it. There are usually two common reasons behind asking this question, and we’ll explore them in detail below:
1. How Are you Doing: A Classic Conversation Striker
As we mentioned in the introduction, how are you doing is one of the most common conversation-strikers around the world, across all languages and countries. After all, it is always polite to ask about someone’s general well-being before talking about something you need or want to know, isn’t it?
So, if the how are you doing that has come your way appears to be a conversation starter, you can respond to it in two ways. The first way would be to simply answer the question and wait for them to throw another question, which was probably their real question all along. If this is the approach you plan on going with, here are a few appropriate responses for that:
Couldn’t have been better.
Rested and refreshed.
Feeling high spirited in this sunny weather.
If you pick any of these, you wouldn’t have to worry about sounding impolite and would be saved from dragging the conversation forward at the same time.
Now, coming to the second way of answering this question: it would be to ask a question of your own. This approach works well if you want to take the conversation forward on your own, which is generally when you’re fond of the person or enjoy talking to them.
We’ll talk about this approach in-depth later in the blog. For now, let’s explore the second possibility behind someone asking you how are you doing.
2. A Genuine Question: Could There Be a Reason for Concern?
If the next person hasn’t asked how are you doing just to get you talking, perhaps they truly want to know how you’re doing. But what could be the reason for such concern? There are two common possibilities in this case: this person has either not seen you in a long time and wants to catch up, or must have known of something bad happening to you in the recent past; a cold, fever, or bad meeting, for instance.
If the first possibility is true in your case, your response to the question is probably going to be a long one and you wouldn’t need our help framing.
On the other hand, if the second possibility is true, here are some ideal responses you could use:
I’m doing much better now, thanks for asking.
Better than before, but I’ll need more time to recover fully.
I’m absolutely fine now. It’s so sweet for you to ask about it.
In this manner, you can be honest with them about your well-being in a polite manner while also expressing your gratitude for their concern. Because if someone can be genuinely worried about you, it’s the least you can do for them.
Who is Asking “Ask How Are You Doing?” Different Approaches for Different People
Imagine this: you’ve gotten your results today, and both your best friend and father ask you the very same question: How did it go?
Will your answer be the same for both these people? We highly doubt that. And it’s not just about telling the truth either. It’s an unstated rule that the answer to one question can’t be the same for everyone; you’ll need to keep in mind who is the person asking it as well. Just like your relationships with different people are different, the same is true for the conversations you have with them.
Even in case of a question as simple as how are you doing, you should apply the same rule. Confused? Let’s help you break it down a little by broadly categorizing your responses based on your relationship with the person asking the question:
Is it someone you know professionally?
Suppose someone in your workplace or a teacher or senior in college asks you this question. What do you think it would mean? As a general rule, these people aren’t really keen on learning about how you’re doing and have asked you the question just to sound polite.
The best response, in this case, would be to return the same politeness without stretching the conversation any further. Here are some replies you could safely go with:
Doing great, thanks.
I’m well, what about you?
Been doing pretty good lately.
Absolutely great, and you?
How Are You Doing Reply
- Quite well, thank you
- Doing great. And you?
- Great, how are you?
- I’m doing excellent thank you for asking! What about yourself?
- Better than I deserve! And you?
- Doing great! Thank you for asking. How are you?
- Can’t complain….. Nobody lets me
- I wont respond until I see my lawyer
- Good! I’m sensing today is going to be a great day.. it all starts with a cup of tea!
- Fine, thank you, and you?
- … Next Question Please
- Tip, top thumbs up!
- Not bad.
How Are You Doing Answer
- I’m getting by. And you?
- Not too well
- Pretty good, thanks!
- Well, it’s still Monday
- Im doing better now that you’ve asked!
- 50/50, and you wizard?
- I don’t feel so well. (sick)
- I’m doing well, thanks for asking
- Could be better
- Been better, been worse!
- Don’t ask because you don’t really want to know
- From a scale through 1 to 10, id say im a solid 7/10
- Today im ready and armed. Gonna take over the day!