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Old 03-23-2010, 01:09 AM   #1
trademark8806
 
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Asking people "how are you?" -- Do you really care?

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?

Best wishes ,
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Old 03-23-2010, 07:47 AM   #2
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Re: I just gotta ask...this has nothing at all to do with Aikdo...

Quote:
Tara Marsh wrote: View Post
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
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Old 03-23-2010, 07:54 AM   #3
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Re: I just gotta ask...this has nothing at all to do with Aikdo...

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.
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Old 03-23-2010, 08:59 AM   #4
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Re: I just gotta ask...this has nothing at all to do with Aikdo...

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.

Best wishes ,
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Old 03-23-2010, 09:42 AM   #5
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Re: I just gotta ask...this has nothing at all to do with Aikdo...

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.
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Old 03-23-2010, 10:05 AM   #6
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Re: I just gotta ask...this has nothing at all to do with Aikdo...

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.
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Old 03-23-2010, 10:21 AM   #7
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Do symbol Re: I just gotta ask...this has nothing at all to do with Aikdo...

Quote:
Cherie Cornmesser wrote: View Post
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?

Best wishes ,
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Old 03-23-2010, 10:36 AM   #8
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Re: Asking people "how are you?" -- Do you really care?

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.

~Look into the eyes of your opponent & steal his spirit.
~To be a good martial artist is to be good thief; if you want my knowledge, you must take it from me.
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Old 03-23-2010, 10:49 AM   #9
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Re: Asking people "how are you?" -- Do you really care?

Quote:
Ashley Carter wrote: View Post
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.

Best wishes ,
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Old 03-23-2010, 10:50 AM   #10
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Re: Asking people "how are you?" -- Do you really care?

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.

Best wishes ,
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Old 03-23-2010, 11:36 AM   #11
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Re: Asking people "how are you?" -- Do you really care?

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.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 03-23-2010, 11:48 AM   #12
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Re: Asking people "how are you?" -- Do you really care?

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Lynn Seiser wrote: View Post
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.

Best wishes ,
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Old 03-23-2010, 03:16 PM   #13
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Re: Asking people "how are you?" -- Do you really care?

Quote:
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.
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Old 03-23-2010, 04:09 PM   #14
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Re: Asking people "how are you?" -- Do you really care?

Quote:
Cherie Cornmesser wrote: View Post
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.

Best wishes ,
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Old 03-24-2010, 06:00 AM   #15
Anita Dacanay
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Re: Asking people "how are you?" -- Do you really care?

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.
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Old 03-24-2010, 10:07 AM   #16
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Re: Asking people "how are you?" -- Do you really care?

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...
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Old 03-24-2010, 03:42 PM   #17
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Re: Asking people "how are you?" -- Do you really care?

Quote:
Tara Marsh wrote: View Post
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.
Take care,
Matt

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Old 03-24-2010, 06:04 PM   #18
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Cool "how are you?" -- Do you really care?

Quote:
Anita Dacanay wrote: View Post
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.

Best wishes ,
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Old 03-24-2010, 06:06 PM   #19
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Re: Asking people "how are you?" -- Do you really care?

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.

Best wishes ,
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Old 03-25-2010, 06:25 AM   #20
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Re: Asking people "how are you?" -- Do you really care?

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.

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Old 03-27-2010, 03:40 PM   #21
Lorien Lowe
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Re: Asking people "how are you?" -- Do you really care?

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.
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Old 03-27-2010, 04:32 PM   #22
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Re: Asking people "how are you?" -- Do you really care?

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.

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Old 03-27-2010, 11:31 PM   #23
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Re: Asking people "how are you?" -- Do you really care?

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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.

Quote:
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.

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 03-28-2010, 01:24 AM   #24
Lorien Lowe
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Re: Asking people "how are you?" -- Do you really care?

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.

Last edited by Lorien Lowe : 03-28-2010 at 01:38 AM.
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Old 03-28-2010, 11:43 AM   #25
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Re: Asking people "how are you?" -- Do you really care?

Quote:
Lynn Seiser wrote: View Post
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

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