Posted on 29 October 2017 by Michael Dahl

A Nicety and a Transparent and Anxious Guy.

I love it when people wish me a “Happy (fill in the day).” It’s fun when someone greets me with something like, “What do you think?” or “What’s the most interesting thing you’ve done this week?” And while I can never remember what happens on my weekends, I appreciate the Monday greeting question, “What were you up to this weekend?”

Such greetings are either well wishes or actual questions asking for actual answers and perhaps a conversation.

As a transparent guy who suffers with Anxiety that still plays an acceptable yet significant role in my life, I hate the greeting, “How you doin’?” It’s an empty question which is, with good etiquette, answered with “Good” or “I’m alright.” The flippant answer, let’s admit it, is also frequently a lie.

As a transparent guy who really thrives on good and deep conversations with people, it tears me up a bit inside when I give the acceptable answer.

I get that people are just extending a greeting — albeit a very poor one — but I want my answer to be truthful.

That’s why I love it when I’m feeling snazzy. I love to see people’s reactions when they ask “How you doin’?” and I can honestly answer “Snazzy!” It often leads to the asker smiling big time and saying, “Snazzy. I love that.”

But there’s the honest answers on the other side that rarely get uttered. And so, I must say I often hate the “How you doin’?” question. Truthfully, if a conversation is to follow, it starts the dialogue on false footing at best and at its worst it’s a conversation stopper.

This post may seem trivial. But I wish people extended greetings that were truer to their intent. If you’re simply looking give someone a great greeting, say “Hi.  It’s good to see you.” and stop there. If you’re looking to start a conversation, ask a question that starts an honest conversation. And if you’re really interested in finding out how someone is doing, ask that.

Am I the only one who feels this way?