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trademark8806
03-23-2010, 01:09 AM
How many of you actuly care whe you ask somone how they are? If you do care and somwone says fine or ok, due you mind that rhey did not say how they relly were? Is it relly a matter of prespective?

dps
03-23-2010, 07:47 AM
How many of you actuly care whe you ask somone how they are? If you do care and somwone says fine or ok, due you mind that rhey did not say how they relly were? Is it relly a matter of prespective?

I use to ask how people were as a greeting when I met someone. Now days I don't unless I really want to know how they are.

It got to the point where the depressing attitude of people now days was depressing me.

David

Shadowfax
03-23-2010, 07:54 AM
If I ask its because I want to know. Yes I care and a lot of times I know when someone is not ok even before they answer me.

I know a lot of people ask that question and its just a formality that they do and are not really even thinking or genuine about it but I think that they do it to be polite and its so automatic that they forget to listen to the answer. It is not necessarily that they don't care so much as that they are not really thinking they are just following the form but without any real substance.

I had a manager once who would do that. he would ask and then before you really answered he'd say, "that's great buddy!, Glad to hear it.", and keep on going. I got so frustrated by that that one day he asked and I said," terrible". He kept right on walking saying, "That's great buddy! Glad to hear it...."

Sometimes we all need to remember to stop and really listen to each other. Even the things that are unspoken. So often the standard reply to how are you is...ok. We reply without real meaning or really being honest, out of an exchange of common politeness but without any real meaning just as often as we ask without really wanting to know.

Something we all could work at being more aware of.

trademark8806
03-23-2010, 08:59 AM
Exactly, I when asked a question have this "inablity" to lie, hence my comment about I gess its a matter of prespective , if you always answer good, when your not. I also aggre that if we are always to answer good, ok, greet ....the other person is to just say the same thing then why are we bothering. Hello allredy alnolged that they were there and that yoiu saw them. I know for a fact that if I am going to ask I want to know , or rather I want them to confurm what I think other singns are telling me. I also when asked answer what I turely think I am, but have gotton in truble for this.

Thanks you guys for answering.

Shadowfax
03-23-2010, 09:42 AM
I'm srue for you it is harder than for most pf us. Aspbergers makes it more difficult. Often we can tell by tone of voice or body language if the person genuinely wants to know or if it is just a polite manners thing not requiring a genuine answer. We can adjsut our answer according to our perception. For you this would be more difficult since you have trouble reading such signals.

I think honesty is never wrong but perhaps if the answer is maybe not positive you could just tone the answer down. Such as saying something like well I'm not feeling too good today or today is not one of my better days but I'm sure tomorrow will be better. It gives them an out if they really don't want to know plus it won't be perceived as depressing the way David was talking about. Some people just do not want to hear the negative stuff because it drains them and they don't know how to or have the energy to deal with it or try to help.

Often all someone, who is having a bad day, needs is for someone to listen and care. Not to fix it for them but just to be there and lend some energy to carry on with. On the flip side if you are having a good day and you say so and project that positive energy to others you can share your happiness and help someone who needs that.

And you thought this was not about aikido. ;)

lbb
03-23-2010, 10:05 AM
Many cultures have greetings that aren't usually meant to be taken literally: "Are you at peace?" "Have you eaten rice?" "I salute the God within you," "How did you wake?" "Is your body well?" "Peace," "Happy," "I see you," etc. Of course, in those cultures you could also say any of those things and mean it literally, just as you can say "How ya doing?" in the US when you really want to know how someone is OR as the equivalent of "Hi". The trick is knowing which is which.

trademark8806
03-23-2010, 10:21 AM
I'm srue for you it is harder than for most pf us. Aspbergers makes it more difficult. Often we can tell by tone of voice or body language if the person genuinely wants to know or if it is just a polite manners thing not requiring a genuine answer. We can adjsut our answer according to our perception. For you this would be more difficult since you have trouble reading such signals.

I think honesty is never wrong but perhaps if the answer is maybe not positive you could just tone the answer down. Such as saying something like well I'm not feeling too good today or today is not one of my better days but I'm sure tomorrow will be better. It gives them an out if they really don't want to know plus it won't be perceived as depressing the way David was talking about. Some people just do not want to hear the negative stuff because it drains them and they don't know how to or have the energy to deal with it or try to help.

Often all someone, who is having a bad day, needs is for someone to listen and care. Not to fix it for them but just to be there and lend some energy to carry on with. On the flip side if you are having a good day and you say so and project that positive energy to others you can share your happiness and help someone who needs that.

And you thought this was not about aikido. ;)

I still not sure the corrlation to Aikido, but ok. Yes that is offten my case when I am having a bad I just sometimes need some one to lesson and if they have advice thats greet , but sometime all I need is to feel I have been heard. sometimes I defently jsut want to be arond the postive energy people give off or rather some do, thats why I sought tehm out.
Thow when I say I answer onstily its not always in detalil. It depends on the peson, if its not good can range form I am ok to bad, eimdly flowed by how are you? or horable , but I be ok. I even answered I don't know how I am yet.
Yes I am often never sure , when they are genuine , well I knwo they may not be genue but then I am more incladed to fell like and have answered depends on wether you care to know the answer or not ? or I dont anwer. I alos willnever askthe question back for they onely havce 3 respons to give me and seems potinless.
Yes I know about what Divid was saying can be deprsing, and agin bress the question of why bother asking?

ninjaqutie
03-23-2010, 10:36 AM
I tend to use hello, hi, hey or something along those lines as a greeting. If I do ask how someone is, I am more then likely interested in the answer. Why ask if I don't care? When I am asked, unless they are good friends of mine, I keep it brief and generic. I doubt most people want to hear "My life is terrible!"

The problem with most people (myself included) is that when someone else is talking, all you can think about is what you want to say next to add to the conversation. Hurry up and shut up about your camping trip because I have an amazing camping story of my own! This is something I have gotten a lot better with over the years, but I still find myself doing this sometimes. It is innocent enough, but I think everyone should make an effort to slow down, truly listen to the other person and respond genuinely.

trademark8806
03-23-2010, 10:49 AM
I tend to use hello, hi, hey or something along those lines as a greeting. If I do ask how someone is, I am more then likely interested in the answer. Why ask if I don't care? When I am asked, unless they are good friends of mine, I keep it brief and generic. I doubt most people want to hear "My life is terrible!"

The problem with most people (myself included) is that when someone else is talking, all you can think about is what you want to say next to add to the conversation. Hurry up and shut up about your camping trip because I have an amazing camping story of my own! This is something I have gotten a lot better with over the years, but I still find myself doing this sometimes. It is innocent enough, but I think everyone should make an effort to slow down, truly listen to the other person and respond genuinely.
Good insites , I find myself doing that sometimes. Thow I have this "problem" porhaps becaue I have autory procing or something, I lesson to everything that person is saying, dont alway know what to do with that infor( resopond). I can repeat back to you exctly what I heard you say like a tape recoder, but I also hear words worng at times so , yea. I am slow to rspond thow in a socity that expects imdite answers. Seems like eveyone is always trying to get to the next thing. Where are we all going,, and why must we try to do everyitng , so much we cant even enjoy what we are having right now? Mabby its just a me thing, but I find verry point less to ask questions that you dont even want to lesson to anwer, or for that matter why are doing anything if your not even going to enjoy it or take it in? Not you spicicaly, but people in gernal.

trademark8806
03-23-2010, 10:50 AM
Cool , I am geting alot of difrent prespictives, I like that. Oh and sorry if I seem like I am arguing I just trying to figure somethign out. Thankyou to all of you for responding.

SeiserL
03-23-2010, 11:36 AM
Yes, I really care.
I learned that if you don't want the answer then don't ask the question.
I often have to remind/warn people that they shouldn't ask me something if they don't really want to know, because I will tend to answer them honestly and directly.
As you can guess, I don't go out socially much.

trademark8806
03-23-2010, 11:48 AM
Yes, I really care.
I learned that if you don't want the answer then don't ask the question.
I often have to remind/warn people that they shouldn't ask me something if they don't really want to know, because I will tend to answer them honestly and directly.
As you can guess, I don't go out socially much.
You sound like me. Only I don't tell people it I just answer them onstily or Is say I not supposed to asnswer that question or I can't becaue your not socaily supposed to nswer that question.

Shadowfax
03-23-2010, 03:16 PM
Where are we all going,, and why must we try to do everyitng , so much we cant even enjoy what we are having right now? Mabby its just a me thing, but I find verry point less to ask questions that you dont even want to lesson to anwer, or for that matter why are doing anything if your not even going to enjoy it or take it in?

You know I ask myself the same questions all the time. Why the hurry? Why do something if it is not worthwhile to you to do it? I don't know why the world is in such a rush. Always trying to keep up what the latest fad, trend or whatever. Working hard to acquire more stuff that means working more to pay for it which means less time to enjoy the stuff you worked so hard to acquire......

It is so easy to get caught up in that mentality of hurry on to the next thing without every really enjoying the moment you are in right now. Ive been working on slowing down and living in the moment and found that life is so much better that way. And slowing down and really listening to the answers to such questions as how are you today is a part of all that.

The less you rush the more time you have. Tough lesson to get but worth it.

trademark8806
03-23-2010, 04:09 PM
You know I ask myself the same questions all the time. Why the hurry? Why do something if it is not worthwhile to you to do it? I don't know why the world is in such a rush. Always trying to keep up what the latest fad, trend or whatever. Working hard to acquire more stuff that means working more to pay for it which means less time to enjoy the stuff you worked so hard to acquire......

It is so easy to get caught up in that mentality of hurry on to the next thing without every really enjoying the moment you are in right now. Ive been working on slowing down and living in the moment and found that life is so much better that way. And slowing down and really listening to the answers to such questions as how are you today is a part of all that.

The less you rush the more time you have. Tough lesson to get but worth it.
I am not sure you relly have less becaue if you just have things you dont relly have anything. For you arnt even home long enoff to ejoy having thowse things or doing those things. so , I thinking that the less you have the more you have. I don't know I just throwing ideas out.
Yes I do think mefull relships in grenal have gone down. I mean mabby thats why devorce is so prevelt. People dont even know each other. It all starts with a simple lessoning to how someone is. Or dose it , I think it might.

Anita Dacanay
03-24-2010, 06:00 AM
For me, I am interested in a genuine response if I ask the question.

But when it comes to responding myself, I am pretty cautious. If the person who asks is a good friend, and I can tell by the tone of voice and the eye contact they make that they are genuinely interested in my state of mind, then I will respond in kind. If I don't really know them very well or they ask in a breezy way, I will assume that they are just going through the motions and will generally just say "Fine" or "Okay".

Just to play devil's advocate, however, sometimes for me this little social exchange has been an opportunity to assess my personal state of mind from a different perspective. Often when I am in a crabby mood or feeling like I've had a bad day, when I stop to think about it I realize that things are not as bad as I've been making them out to be - and I realize that I really AM "okay". Sometimes I jokingly quote Joe Walsh: "I can't complain but sometimes I still do."

As to the slowing down and learning how to really listen: that is something we could all benefit from, I believe. Lynn Seiser spoke so well in his column this month about the importance of slowing down and being mindful when we practice Aikido - the same is true for the rest of our lives.

brunotex
03-24-2010, 10:07 AM
We have the same issue in Portuguese. The usual greeting is "is everything ok?". The usual answer is give back the question, or "yes, how are you?".

I know a person who always answer this question (how are you?) with something like "I am better than you wish me to be". Sometimes I use this one myself, just for fun...

mathewjgano
03-24-2010, 03:42 PM
How many of you actuly care whe you ask somone how they are? If you do care and somwone says fine or ok, due you mind that rhey did not say how they relly were? Is it relly a matter of prespective?

I actually care when I ask, but most people say something like, "hi," back to me anyway. However, what I exactly mean varies depending on who I'm asking. I expect to get a more detailed response from friends and family, for example.
I mean it when I say "take care" too.:D
Take care,
Matt

trademark8806
03-24-2010, 06:04 PM
For me, I am interested in a genuine response if I ask the question.

But when it comes to responding myself, I am pretty cautious. If the person who asks is a good friend, and I can tell by the tone of voice and the eye contact they make that they are genuinely interested in my state of mind, then I will respond in kind. If I don't really know them very well or they ask in a breezy way, I will assume that they are just going through the motions and will generally just say "Fine" or "Okay".

Just to play devil's advocate, however, sometimes for me this little social exchange has been an opportunity to assess my personal state of mind from a different perspective. Often when I am in a crabby mood or feeling like I've had a bad day, when I stop to think about it I realize that things are not as bad as I've been making them out to be - and I realize that I really AM "okay". Sometimes I jokingly quote Joe Walsh: "I can't complain but sometimes I still do."

As to the slowing down and learning how to really listen: that is something we could all benefit from, I believe. Lynn Seiser spoke so well in his column this month about the importance of slowing down and being mindful when we practice Aikido - the same is true for the rest of our lives.
Agreed
That is intresting thoguth about the opportunity to asses your personal sate of mind form diffrent prespectives.

trademark8806
03-24-2010, 06:06 PM
I geting the distenct inptesion that I am not the olnly one thow taht might think it is an odd greeting.
Thow Porhaps a neccery one.

bulevardi
03-25-2010, 06:25 AM
I guess it depends where you are located on earth. :)

It's some kind of polite greeting typically from America.
They are used to say "Hi, how are you?" immediately in one phrase, when they just wanted to say "Hi".
While here in Europe, they mostly keep it with "Hi".

The thing is that they say it to almost everyone. When I was in America a while ago, almost everyone I met said: "how are you doing?" to me, while I didn't met those people before.
It was nice and friendly, but quite strange for someone who isn't used to be asked how you're doing by a stranger. And it actually didn't matter if I answered that question, I mostly did with "fine thanks", but if I would have said "fine thanks, you?", they wouldn't go further in that conversation.

In America, people are very social with each other in communication, really talkative.
Sometimes I really miss that in my own country here (Belgium). People rather look at the ground instead of each other.

In Finland for example, they try to talk as few/less as possible. Words as 'please' or 'thank you' or 'I love you', they mostly skip.
When you enter a bar, you just say "beer", you don't say: "Can you give me a beer please?".
Or another example: "it's cold in here, can you please close the window? thanks", they just say: "close the window".
It's not necessarily less polite. If the tone is fine and said on a friendly way, it's ok for them.

Lorien Lowe
03-27-2010, 03:40 PM
I hate, hate "how are you?" as a social convention. Even people who say they 'really want to know' are generally not close enough friends with the majority of the people they ask to justifiably expect a complete and honest answer. Thus, you must either ignore the question and respond with, "Hi," or "Hello," (rude) our you must lie and/or prevaricate with, "fine," (rude) or you must reveal personal aspects of your life that a stranger is not entitled to (rude).

What's even worse is when the social convention forces you to respond with, "I'm fine, how are you?" To which the original asker responds, "I'm fine, thank you for asking."

Gag.
It makes my skin crawl every time I have to do it.

Linda Eskin
03-27-2010, 04:32 PM
When I ask, I really am interested in knowing how someone is doing.

When I answer, I may mention some aggravation or challenge. But more often I realize as I'm about to start complaining about something trivial that really I am mostly doing very well, so I say that.

mathewjgano
03-27-2010, 11:31 PM
I hate, hate "how are you?" as a social convention. Even people who say they 'really want to know' are generally not close enough friends with the majority of the people they ask to justifiably expect a complete and honest answer.
When I ask it I'm not asking for a complete answer. I don't need to know the myriad details and causal factors involved. I'm just curious how the person I happen across is doing. Sometimes it can make a big difference.
My take on answering is based on the idea that I can say I'm "fine" while having a bad day and not be lying. Compared to some folks, my worst days are great ones, so I'm "fine" enough. It's not a lie to my mind.

What's even worse is when the social convention forces you to respond with, "I'm fine, how are you?" To which the original asker responds, "I'm fine, thank you for asking."

Gag.
It makes my skin crawl every time I have to do it.
Is it the forced formality of it? I always hated feeling like I had to say something, even if I was about to say it anyway. For example, being told to say thank you as I was just about to do so completely took away the sense of authenticity for me; turning my organic intent into a stilted bit of hoop-jumping.

Lorien Lowe
03-28-2010, 01:24 AM
It's not the formality; it's that I'm being forced by convention to answer one way ("fine,") regardless of the actual reality (If I do say something other than, "fine," like, "I'm aggravated," or "I'm tired," it comes across either as a complaint or an invitation to pry). Even if I actually am 'fine,' the asker has no right to believe that answer; I'm going to give the same answer regardless, because I'm forced to. By asking the question they're declaring that the don't give a damn whether I lie to them or not, as long as I toe the social line. I'm also being forced by convention to pretend that the asker gives a damn, even when they're clearly not paying attention to the answer. Then I'm forced by convention to pry into someone else's private life and/or to ask them to lie to me, and then they thank me as though it was good for them and as though I had a non-social-suicide choice in the matter.

It's just a sickeningly saccharine mess of deceit that is being used as if it were a greeting, when "hi" or "hello" would do. It's as though the standard greeting were,
"hello, the sky is purple today."
"Hi, and fish are best eaten raw and slimy with bacterial growth."
"Yes, I agree. Thank you."

Which seems cute, until you imagine people saying that over and over every single day, in complete seriousness, with the delusion that they are doing something friendly and good and important. It's a fake facade of forced friendliness (sorry for the alliteration), because collegiality and courtesy are not sufficient: everyone has to pretend to be everyone else's buddy.

I hate it when fast food workers give me a forced smile and say (for example), "Hi, welcome to Starbucks, My name is _____. What can I get for you today?" It's so clearly scripted, so clear than their pay will be docked (or something) if they don't smile and recite that exact script, every single time. I'd rather have a sullen but honest barrista who has to be dragged away from Keats to take my order than one who's forced into friendliness with a complete stranger.

I don't mind saying 'thank you,' at all, because I mean it when I say it. I don't mind wishing someone a good day or a good evening. I like it, in fact; it's honest and politely friendly, without being invasive.

I should note that I *don't* mind my friends and family asking me how I'm doing; not only can I expect that they care about the answer, but I can feel comfortable giving an honest answer. If I say I'm fine, they know that I really am honestly fine.

Perhaps I should move to Finland. :)

Aikibu
03-28-2010, 11:43 AM
Yes, I really care.
I learned that if you don't want the answer then don't ask the question.
I often have to remind/warn people that they shouldn't ask me something if they don't really want to know, because I will tend to answer them honestly and directly.
As you can guess, I don't go out socially much.

What Lynn said with the exception that because I do listen I sure get asked to go allot of places. LOL

I never ever ask anything unless I am prepared to listen. And I mean listen holistically without spending the time while the other person is talking in my head preparing a response to a predetermined script. LOL

William Hazen

lbb
03-28-2010, 01:46 PM
I'm curious: for all you people who "never ask unless you really want to know", what do you say when you encounter people? If you were to play a recording of exactly what was said in your last half-dozen encounters, what would it sound like? "Hi." "Hi". "..." "Well, bye!"? :D

Lorien Lowe
03-28-2010, 03:44 PM
"Hi."
"Hi. The patient in bed 5 needs a second set of blood cultures in 10 minutes, but I'm off the clock."
"OK, thanks. Have a good evening."
"Thanks, you too."

It is perfectly easy to be civil and functional without lying to each other.

lbb
03-28-2010, 05:36 PM
Wow, "lying"? That's a bit harsh. Are you always completely and perfectly honest in your every interaction? Do you think that when people say, "Fine, thanks," their intention is to deceive and mislead?

Anita Dacanay
03-29-2010, 06:05 AM
Mary, I personally didn't say that I never asked; I said that I meant it when I did ask. I actually ask people how they are doing pretty frequently. It's okay with me if, when people answer, they need to talk beyond the superficial "I'm fine" response.

One day I was at the local school playground with my daughter, and there was a man there with his daughter who was about the same age. I had never seen them there before. The kids began playing together and the man and I exchanged pleasantries, but he soon revealed that he wasn't really feeling "fine". His Dad had just died that week and he had brought his daughter to our neighborhood because he had grown up here, and he and his brothers were preparing to sell their parent's house now that both his Mom and Dad were gone.

So I sat and listened to him and tried to be present. He was obviously having a hard time caring for his daughter in the midst of his own grief, and I think it helped him that my little girl was keeping her occupied. So we stayed much longer at the park than I had intended to stay. I didn't have any words of wisdom for him, but I let him be honest and I was willing to listen and be present.

I am not always that open and giving of my time and energy, but if I see that someone really needs somebody to listen, I do try.

lbb
03-29-2010, 07:18 AM
That's a very nice story, Anita, but I'm not sure that that interaction implies that we should call people liars because they engage in a social convention of saying things that aren't meant to be taken literally. To go back to my earlier example, is it "lying" when a Korean responds to the standard greeting (which literally means "Are you at peace?") with a simple "Yes"?

trademark8806
03-29-2010, 12:41 PM
I kinda do belve that people are lying when they say fine when they are so oviouly not. I mean I gess they are fine in conpartion to someone elses cermnstatces, but thats not what I asked if I ask them how they are. I asked how in there own set of cermence in there own opion how are they? Like wise I actuly have truble answering with fine if I am not or anything else, that is not ture. Then I am also a bad liyer,so , mabby its just me.

Walter Martindale
03-29-2010, 02:10 PM
Had an uncle who used to say "worse" in a scottish accent....
I tried it for a while.

;-)
Walter

Shadowfax
03-29-2010, 06:22 PM
is it "lying" when a Korean responds to the standard greeting (which literally means "Are you at peace?") with a simple "Yes"? Well... if he is in fact not at peace then yes he would be lying. A lie is a lie. That said there is such a thing as being too honest in certain situations.

Personally if someone says to me how are you and I'm not fine I am straight up and say I've had better days.

A teacher of mine in collage used to always say, "Fantastic! But I'll get better. "

mathewjgano
03-29-2010, 06:36 PM
It's not the formality; it's that I'm being forced by convention to answer one way ("fine,") regardless of the actual reality (If I do say something other than, "fine," like, "I'm aggravated," or "I'm tired," it comes across either as a complaint or an invitation to pry). Even if I actually am 'fine,' the asker has no right to believe that answer; I'm going to give the same answer regardless, because I'm forced to.
I disagree that you're "forced" to answer in any particular way and that answering honestly is an invitation to pry. My response to folks who say things like they've "been better" is to express I'm sorry to hear that and that I hope things will go better. When I've expressed that things are going less than well for me and people try to pry, I don't have any problem politely ending that part of the conversation.

By asking the question they're declaring that the don't give a damn whether I lie to them or not, as long as I toe the social line. I'm also being forced by convention to pretend that the asker gives a damn, even when they're clearly not paying attention to the answer. Then I'm forced by convention to pry into someone else's private life and/or to ask them to lie to me, and then they thank me as though it was good for them and as though I had a non-social-suicide choice in the matter.
I think you're making some pretty broad leaps here. I don't know if you're just speaking somewhat colorfully, but this doesn't fit at all with my experiences being a dedicated "how are you" asker (and honest replier). Working in commercial carpentry, often at a major department store, I come into contact with a fairly wide range of people. I've yet to commit social suicide...and in fact seem to get along better and with more people than most.

It's just a sickeningly saccharine mess of deceit that is being used as if it were a greeting, when "hi" or "hello" would do. It's as though the standard greeting were,
"hello, the sky is purple today."
"Hi, and fish are best eaten raw and slimy with bacterial growth."
"Yes, I agree. Thank you."
:p As a recovering misanthrope I'm LMAO. Part of me wants to agree, but we all know red apples sail dogs, so clearly you cannot refute my excellent shoes.:D

Which seems cute, until you imagine people saying that over and over every single day, in complete seriousness, with the delusion that they are doing something friendly and good and important. It's a fake facade of forced friendliness (sorry for the alliteration), because collegiality and courtesy are not sufficient: everyone has to pretend to be everyone else's buddy.
If the decoder understands the meaning of the messenge, something nice has been accomplished: a simple pleasantry. It can be saccharine and fake and a bunch of other negative things, but it can also be genuine and sometimes even a little act of kindness can make a big difference. It's rare, but it does happen. I prepare for that eventuality by caring about everyone as best I know how and part of that is by asking a simple question. It's not just a convention when used properly, it's an interpersonal relationship builder. That may sound like a cliche, but I'd argue that's only to the jaded. Anyhow, I digress.

I hate it when fast food workers give me a forced smile and say (for example), "Hi, welcome to Starbucks, My name is _____. What can I get for you today?" It's so clearly scripted, so clear than their pay will be docked (or something) if they don't smile and recite that exact script, every single time.
More and more it sounds like it's the lack of sincerity you dislike. I used to work as a customer service rep. (call center) and I also dislike the scripting corporations think make for authentic kindness. We were told at one point we had to work 4 of 7 slogans into every call, even when a customer tells us they're super busy and just need to know how much airtime they had left on their cell phone. In many cases it actually achieves the exact opposite of the desired effect, particularly by people who recognize it.

lbb
03-29-2010, 07:57 PM
Well... if he is in fact not at peace then yes he would be lying. A lie is a lie.

And a tautology is a tautology, but the question is not whether "a lie is a lie" -- that's a no-brainer. The question is whether a traditional greeting is a "lie" because it is no longer used in its literal, historical sense. I think the average Korean would disagree with you. As for me, I've said my say and there's no point in repeating myself.

Lorien Lowe
03-29-2010, 11:47 PM
Wow, "lying"? That's a bit harsh. Are you always completely and perfectly honest in your every interaction? Do you think that when people say, "Fine, thanks," their intention is to deceive and mislead?

I try to be perfectly honest; I don't think I lie to other people any more than I lie to myself, and I don't think that I do that any more than the average person. I try really hard to be in touch with reality. If someone asks me something I don't want them to know, I just look at them without answering, which usually gets the point across.

I think that people who say, "fine, thanks," generally have the intention to comply with social rules first and adhere to reality second. Is it really possible, though, to say that you're "fine" when you're not, without an awareness that you are deliberately speaking an untruth?

@ Matthew, having clerks who are complete strangers to me ask how I'm doing is one of the most annoying things of all, but I'm not surprised at all that most people seem to like it and get along with you well. I'm perfectly aware that this pet peeve of mine is a minority one, because (as you mentioned) one sees it popping up more and more in customer-service situations in a very scripted way, and most people just enjoy the social interaction without thinking about what it means. I don't think that the marketing geniuses, who can convince us that beer will make the opposite sex fall all over us, would be advocating that script if it didn't work most of the time. It's just one more aspect of humans that I just don't get. And yes: absolutely it's the lack of sincerity.

All of that said, I really do like the suggestions that a couple of people have made for 'I can't complain,' and 'I've been better, but I'll make it.'

Don_Modesto
03-31-2010, 03:42 PM
Exactly, I when asked a question have this "inablity" to lie. Lie.

Is it a lie when you "dial" your mobile phone even though it has no dial? Do you say "sunrise/sunset" with a straight face even while not subscribing to geocentricity?

In Indonesia they ask you where you're going. They don't care either. Like "How are you?", the question is empty of the meaning of the words. The real meaning, which we know then from the context, not the words, is, "Let's be friendly."

No problem.

bulevardi
04-02-2010, 05:52 AM
Something more bizar:

In Austria, when hiking in the Alps, you meet people on your hiking path and when they cross you, they say: "Grüss Gott", which means: "greet God".
It's a standardized greeting in that region that everyone does around there when meeting each other.
Quite strange for someone who isn't used to that.

Even if you're not a Christian, you just say "Grüss Gott" back in return, just as saying hello, or "Guten Tag" (good day). No offence further, they're really friendly and kind people out there in the Alps.

bulevardi
04-02-2010, 06:09 AM
In French, they say "ça va". They say it as a question, but aswel as an answer.
> "ça va?"
> "ça va".
Literally "Is it going?" > "It is going."

You can always try saying "Hi, where are you?" instead of "Hi, how are you?". And then count the seconds to the moment they think "wait... he asked something else..." :)
Or just mumpling something uncomprehensible like "Hi, howwaraaowou?" and see if they just notice. If they ask "what?", you answer: "Hi, howwaraaowou?". :)