6 alternative ways to respond to “Hi, how are you?” instead of simply saying “Fine.”

A: “Hi, how are you?”

B: “I’m fine, thank you. How are you?”

A: “Fine.”

This is a conversation we all have at least once a day. We carry it almost automatically, not giving a single thought about how we can turn it into a much more entertaining discussion. However, there are a few alternatives we can use to shake it up and turn it into a talk that truly matters.

Here are 6 ways to turn the meaningless small talk into a significant conversation.

1. Change your intonation. 

You can use the same words, but still alter the course of the conversation by changing your tone. You can still ask someone: “Hi, how are you?” but with a more sincere, soothing voice that lets them know that you truly care. And when you are being asked how you have been doing, you can still say “Fine,” but with an intonation that signifies your actual emotional state, in case you are far from being fine.

2. “I’ve been better.”

Accepting you are not fine and saying it out loud can be challenging. However, a response like “I’ve been better” or “I’m hanging in” can lead to a personal conversation that might offer you support and clarity in times of distress.

3. “I’m not sure. I just put one foot in front of the other.”

Not being able to tell exactly how you feel is normal. Responding with an answer that implies that you are simply focused on the now is not something to feel anxious about. Besides, putting one foot in front of the other still means you are getting somewhere, and that’s what truly matters.

4. “I am okay. I’ve been looking forward to…” 

Sharing your excitement about something you’re looking forward to can lead to a more upbeat conversation. And as you tell the other person about the thing you cannot wait for, you make them feel comfortable telling you about something they are enthusiastic about.

5. “I am fine. I’ve been thinking about…”

Instead of ending with the word “fine,” you can initiate a discussion about something you are actually interested in. This way, you remove the focus of the regular small talk conversation starter and place it onto something much more lively. Besides, you engage the other person and give them an opportunity to talk about something they are fond of, which makes the talk a lot more enjoyable for both of you.

6. “I’m feeling fantastic.”

If you are thrilled to talk about something amazing that has just happened to you, doing it right after someone asks you: “How are you?” might be just the right time. However, be careful to whom you are talking to, as some might view your happiness as bragging, and that’s something no one likes.

Do you know other alternative answers to the everyday small talk starter “Hi, how are you?” apart from “Fine.”? Let us know in the comment section!

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