You’re alone, and you’re walking down an aisle at the store, or the street, or around your workplace, and someone is heading in your direction. You keep your head down, because you like to avoid awkward eye contact, but then you look up as the other person approaches because you don’t want to seem rude or weak. The other person opens their mouth for those four dreaded words: “Hey, how are you?”
And although you cringed harder than you expected, you reply with whatever your go-to is, which is most likely, “good, you?”
And they same the same thing back; it’s the end of your conversation, and you both keep on moving.
Newsflash: we all deal with this same situation. It’s just that some of us don’t mind the small talk as much as others do (i.e.: me). I am the same person who says that I have time to do things with my life, and yet I do not have time for the shallow annoyance that is small talk. I hate it; I avoid it when I can.
But I cannot escape that quick, passerby conversation that is “how are you?“. I would rather just give that small, polite, tight smile (you know the one I’m talking about), but I’m not a very lucky person.
During this useless interaction, I usually use the word alright to describe my well-being. It used to be good, but then I randomly got annoyed by that answer, so I changed it up a bit. And it’s kind of funny, because you know nobody’s going to say that they’re having a crappy day, unless there was some expectation of a follow up remark.
And seriously, who asks this question, genuinely concerned? It’s really just one of those things that you have to do, so you don’t look like an inconsiderate twat.
I guess this little interaction doesn’t really ruin a person’s mood or day in any way—it’s just kind of a placeholder for awkward silence. You know how weird it is when your eyes unintentionally meet with someone else’s! And, I mean, unless the other person stops you for full-blown conversation, no time is actually wasted.
Prompt: What is the adjective you use when people ask, “how are you?”