Summer Howard, Staff Writer
“How are you?” It’s the tiny question that I get asked numerous times a day at SNU, and it’s the only question people seem to know how to ask these days without squirming in their seats. I know it is part of the culture of SNU to speak these three words to every person you come into contact with and that everyone means it when they say it. Also, I know that no one ever gets tired of replying with a one-word answer because it’s too much trouble to explain how elated or depressed you are without taking up the other person’s whole day. No, I think everyone agrees that “How are you?” is pretty much the greatest question ever invented because it requires you to listen to two or three sentences at most about the other person.
Okay, so some people don’t agree with the previous statement. They would rather someone ask them specific questions, like, “How are things going with so-and-so?” or “I heard you got sick. Are you feeling better?” Sometimes people just don’t want others to pry into their lives, no matter how close they are to a person. Sure, talking about what we’re going through is one of the best remedies for healing, but who really wants to hear us complain about how awful our lives have gotten? If you’re one of these people, this article is here to give you sound advice on what to do when a person asks you the dreaded question, “How are you?”
1) Want to conform with the rest of the world? Then just answer with the classic adjectives “Good” or “Fine.” If you say it in a convincing way (or even if you don’t), people won’t pry.
2) To ensure no one ever asks you this question again, simply whine for five or ten minutes about the most boring thing in your life. For example, you could talk about how every time you go home, your pet fish ignores you. This subject is highly likely to bore the person to death, securing your safety from the generic conversation-starter.
3) Hate talking about your personal life? When a friend asks you how you’re doing, just evade it. Pick your friend’s favorite topic to steer them clear from life questions. Of course, this could cause them to ask you the question again; just avoid it until they catch on that you’d rather not talk about that subject.
If these three suggestions don’t work for you, you can always just tell a person, in an angry manner, not to ask you that question . Yes, this might lead to people thinking you have anger management problems or are certifiably insane, but if it solves this terrifying conversation problem, who cares?