The single biggest issue tormenting our nation is the unnecessary asking of questions instead of saying hello. “How are you doing?” “I’m fine, how about you?” “I’m fine!” This is the absolute most inane conversation in the history of human communication, and yet it happens all the time! Stop it!
A greeting is not a question! A greeting is a word you say to be generally polite and acknowledge that there is another human in your presence.
Somewhere along the way though, we as humans decided we needed to not only greet people, but feign interest in them while greeting them. You don’t need to do this! A greeting, in and of itself, is already being polite!
I’m fairly certain that no one in the history of asking “how are you doing?” instead of saying “hello” or an equivalent greeting has ever cared what the response to this question will be. They aren’t expecting the person being asked how they’re doing to share real details about their life.
If you want to have some fun, when a random person greets you with “how are you doing?” instead of “hello,” give them an extended summary of all the things that have happened in your day and watch as their eyes quickly glaze over in horror as you answer the question they just asked but did not expect or want an answer to.
If ever someone greets me with a question about my day, I do the following:
- Seethe in rage at their perpetuation of this terrible conversational convention.
- Respond, “good, how bout yourself?” and smile.
- Wait for one of three responses: A) absolutely nothing B) “fine” C) a detailed recitation of their day up to this point
- (If C above occurs, I smile and nod and try to act interested, while inside I’m cursing this person for having extended the greeting into a totally pointless conversation.)
I live by a code, and the first rule of that code is that when I greet people, I say hello or one of its equivalents. Because I genuinely don’t want to start a call-and-response conversation about absolutely nothing with every single person who crosses my path.
It is entirely socially acceptable to acknowledge the presence of others without asking them about their day! You can even do this in a genuine, friendly, and warm manner! A simple head nod, smile, “hello,” or any other vaguely positive gesture is totally fine!
Repeat after me:
I will not greet people in the form of a question. I will greet people with greetings. I will not greet people in the form of a question. I will greet people with greetings. I will not greet people in the form of a question. I will greet people with greetings.
I look forward to your bipartisan support of this very important concern afflicting people nationwide. It has reached epidemic proportions and we must unite to vanquish our common enemy of questions as greetings.
Thank you, God bless, and party on, dudes.