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How do you reply to "how are you?"

I saw an acquaintance this morning I hadn't seen in a while. We had the normal, pleasant conversation "Hi. How are you?" Normally, unless it is my family, I reply with the socially acceptable "Fine. And you?" but this morning I feel really crappy, and I had such a desire to tell her exactly how I felt. I didn't, but it got me thinking. When you're feeling crappy, how do you reply to people when they ask "How are you?"


I always think about it. Unless I'm really close with them (family, close friend) I always say "good, how are you?." It's frustrating to say that because I'm so not good but I think most people are just being polite and its a way of just saying hello. They don't really want to hear about our problems. It's more of a nicer version and extension of hello.


Staff member
New York, USA
All depends.....some days I will answer fine, others I will say 'hanging in there'...others I will say crappy!.....a really common one for me is 'OK'.....


Super Moderator
For me it really depends on who is asking. A lot of my co-workers know I've been ill, and when certain sympathetic co-workers ask how I am feeling, I know they genuinely mean, how are my tummy troubles & arthritis. For most people though, I just automatically say "good". A co-worker who isn't so clued in asks every day how am I doing, but I know with her she's just being polite and doesn't care one iota about what's going on with my health, so I always just say I'm good. Today I passed a little bit of blood in my stool and then ran into that particular co-worker right afterwards. She asked how I was doing, and I said "good" in the least convincing way possible. She didn't even seem to notice and accepted it at face value. I'm not super good at social situations or social cues, but I'm learning who I can and cannot speak to about my illness. It really is a situation that varies by individual for me.


Grunting at people that's hilarious.

This would be a fun experiment.

Q: "How are you?"

A: "Well I shit my pants with diarrhea and blood, my stomach cramps, I have no energy, can't eat anything and feel weak and dizzy. Otherwise I'm just great, how the @&$/ are you?"


I always say 'have you got a spare couple of days and I'll tell ya!'
It breaks the awkward moment, cos then we laugh.
I find myself saying "fine" or "hanging in there", I know they don't really want to hear the truth! 😈

Currently taking Humira 40 mg weekly and Azathioprine 150mg daily.

Crohn's Dx June 2011, primarily in the TI some in the colon.

Past meds: Entocort, prednisone and Pentasa.
I say 'I'm fine' - but my IBD nurse just laughed at me a couple of weeks ago and said if I had just had my legs chopped off I would still be saying I was fine!
Occasionally if I am feeling particularly grim, I say 'better than I was'. That gives them the option to follow it up if they really are interested, or to just say "thats good" if they were just being polite!


It depends on who is asking and exactly how whiny I'm feeling. :p

Usually I'll say I'm fine, but sometimes they get a bit more honesty. Usually something along the lines of, "Not feeling so well today," or something equally as brief. If they want to inquire further, I'll answer their questions but I don't generally push.

If it's someone close, I'll spill out everything. :p Unless we're in a public setting with other people, in which case I try to keep it brief. And again, if people want to ask questions, I'll answer them. My boyfriend usually makes it pretty clear to others when I'm not feeling well, so most of his friends know about my Crohn's and they're all nice and understanding about it.
When my son was first diagnosed, I was super sad and scared, but whenever anyone would ask how I was, I would always say, "I'm good. How're you?" I wanted to get the focus off my feelings asap because my feelings were incredibly painful. For a while my husband asked me EVERYDAY. I finally had ask him not to...


The standard "fine". I always think it is just a pleasantly rather than a serious question! But you know us Brits, never like to discuss anything personal, we mainly stick to the weather ...

Twitter:- _IJP_