If I were to ask you, “How are you today?”, the overwhelming majority of you would say, “I’m fine”. Our society has trained us to think that is the right answer. But when you think about that response, it has little meaning.
I believe that when someone asks “How are you today?”, they are looking for a way to start a conversation. Sometimes they sincerely want to know . The problem is the question has lost it’s meaning and people expect you to answer with “I’m fine, thank you”.
A few months ago I wrote a blog sharing how I no longer say “I’m fine”, but instead, respond with “I’m grateful”. It always catches people off guard and initiates conversation. They leave our exchange thinking about the things they too are grateful for.
When I wrote the blog, I shared my philosophy on this question with my friend Joe. I saw him this morning and he shared with me that for the past few months he’s been using my example of saying something other than “Fine”, and has had some interesting results. As Joe said, “People that are truly interested in you will respond (when you say something other than ‘fine’) and people who aren’t interested, won’t. Their answer is a good way to judge whether they are interested in you or not.”
I tried it with my friends on Twitter and asked….
If you were to answer “How are you today?” in one word right now, what’s your response? I am…. (for a blog- thank you!)
Here are the responses from a great bunch of interactive tweeps (who would be great to follow on Twitter):
Just to shake things up a bit, try a little experiment with me. The next time someone asks you “How are you?”, answer with something else other than “Fine”. Open the dialogue for real conversation. According to Joe (and I agree with him), you’ll know from their response if they are sincerely interested in your welfare, or if they are just being polite in asking the question.
Also, think of this when you’re the one asking “How are you?” to someone else. Do you really want to know? What other ways can we learn to ask that question to let someone know we sincerely care? How about “What’s the best part of your day so far?”, or “What are you most grateful for today?” Or if you’re feeling really brave, you might ask, “What can I do to improve your day today?”
Warning- If you ask a different question, be ready for some fun answers and a thought-provoking dialogue. ☺
Please share your thoughts with us below- because I really want to know what you’re thinking and interact with you. I really want to know the best and worst things in your life right now, and more importantly, how we can be of service to inspire you to your greatness. We’re here, and we’re listening. Thanks for sharing with us.