I know some of you ruefully laughed when you saw the title of this one. I don"t think anyone is horribly bitter about it, but the comtháng, occasionally awkward, exchange of, "How"s it going?" - "Good. How are you?" - "Good" is a special pet peeve of many people. Some of us have devoted a little too much mental energy lớn issues lượt thích, "Why bởi vì people ask you how you are if they don"t really want to know?", or "What"s the point in asking people what"s new if they always just say "nothing much"?"
So with that in mind, I"m going to write an entire article about the topic. Because I really vì have sầu enough to lớn say that I can write fifteen hundred words about it.
Bạn đang xem: What is going on? what's up? how is it going?
The purposes of asking "How"s it going?", "What"s new?", etc.
As you probably already know, these phrases have two uses: As a standard greeting. The whole, How are you? - Good. You? - Good exchange is just another way of saying hi.As a generic way khổng lồ start a conversation, usually when we haven"t talked khổng lồ someone in a bit.
Both uses have sầu their qualities that people find a tad annoying. There"s also the rich, confusing ground that pops up when we aren"t sure how the other person is using the terms - Are they saying, "What"s new?" because they want khổng lồ chat khổng lồ you, or are they just saying hello?
Using "What"s up?" as a greeting
Asking how someone is và the reply of, "Good. How are you?" has become a kind of ritualized greeting. It"s a longer, more detailed way of saying hello. Not only are you saying hi, but you"re also being a little more friendly and asking how they are. In one sense the words are rote & empty, but in another way you"re still showing you take an interest in the other person.
Another way I always thought of it is if you see a co-worker coming down the hall towards you, simply saying "hey" doesn"t take up enough time. You"d greet them when they were fifteen feet away or so, then be left with an awkward silence while you finished passing each other. The What"s Up? Good exchange fills that time.
The right response in these situations is khổng lồ just be friendly and go through the routine. Over thinking it will drive you mad. It doesn"t really matter that people always say they"re "fine", even if they may not be. It"s okay that people technically ask each other how they are, even though that"s not what they really mean. It"s just part of how it works.
"What"s going on?" as a conversation starter
If you"re visiting your parents and my dad asks you what"s new, he obviously actually wants lớn know how you"re doing và if anything really is new with you. It"s about the most basic, all-purpose way lớn kiông xã off a conversation there is. Hopefully the other person"s answer will provide enough material to start the real discussion. It"s unoriginal enough that we"re all a little tired of hearing it, but it works okay.
As you can probably guess, the best response if you"re asked "What"s up?" in this way is to give some kind of answer that will give sầu the other person something to lớn work with và get a conversation going. You could say how you actually are, but in a fleshed out way, or you could quickly say you"re doing "okay" & then ask them some sort of question which will also hopefully let the true conversation begin (e.g., "I"m good. How was your vacation to lớn South Africa?".
It can be hard lớn think of what to say right away. That"s one main reason these phrases often lead to lớn little awkward moments. People will often initially respond to lớn, "How are you?" with something lượt thích , "I"m good... I"m good... yeah, things are okay..." to lớn buy themselves time lớn come up with a better response. I think everyone feels a little caught off guard & on the spot lớn come up with a fascinating answer sometimes. Nothing unusual at all about taking a few seconds lớn gather your thoughts.
Don"t worry if you don"t always have sầu a great answer lớn the literal "How are you?" question. Often we"re really not up khổng lồ much or not a lot is new. The point is to get someone talking, & as long as that happens then everything is fine. Plus if someone really does want lớn know what"s new in your life, saying "Not much" và then changing the topic technically did answer the question.
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The confusing middle ground
I think what drives people mental over "How are you doing?" is that there are lots of cases where we"re not sure how the other person means it. Here"s a sample of the questions and concerns that can rush through your head when you"re hit with a "What"s up?":Are they saying "How are you doing?" khổng lồ say hello or because they want to lớn talk?If they just wanted to say hi then you don"t want to lớn try to start a conversation.But if they vị want to chat, then you don"t want khổng lồ just go "fine" and walk away.If they vị want khổng lồ talk, vì chưng they really want lớn hear how I am, or vị they not particularly care & were just using that line lớn initiate the conversation?
I"m sure you"ve had those moments where you bởi the standard How are you? - Good exchange with a co-worker then you both awkwardly hesitate for a beat because you"re not sure whether you should say more or not.
Another thing that happens fairly often is someone will say "How"s it going?", hoping to lớn start a conversation. The other person will say "Good. How are you?", but not because they"re doing the greeting version, but because they can"t think of anything khổng lồ say. The first person will then respond, "I"m good too...." Then there will be this confused moment hanging in the air before the conversation peters out. By the halfway point of the back and forth neither side knows whether they"re playing out a Greeting or a Conversation Starter, and once the exchange is over they"re paralyzed & not sure how khổng lồ go forward.
This can all leave you confused. Thankfully getting your wires crossed with someone doesn"t really hurt you. So you passed someone on campus và they wanted to lớn talk and you just greeted them & went on? No big deal, you still said hello. It"s not like you embarrassed yourself on anything. If the same thing happened to lớn you, you"d understvà. Or they wanted khổng lồ talk & you couldn"t come up with a response and fell into lớn an accidental greeting? Just take a second to lớn think of something lớn say and re-initiate the conversation again. Overall, don"t over-analyze things or worry about it too much. It gets easier khổng lồ handle these situations when you realize it"s fine if you sometimes get them wrong.
Other reasons some people may be put off by "How"s it going?"
There are a few reasons more socially awkward people may cringe at the thought of getting asked "What"s going on?", when it"s used as a conversation starter:
They feel lượt thích they have to lớn give an interesting response, even though they often don"t have sầu one
They may think that if someone asks them what"s new, that they to lớn have sầu a captivating answer every time. Also, if someone doesn"t have sầu much of a social life, they may really not have sầu much going on, and worry they"ll look boring và dorky for hardly ever having a good response. As I just said, the point is lớn say hello or kiông chồng off a conversation và the actual answer to the starter "What"s going on?" question only sometimes matters.
Another funny thing is that if given enough time, almost everyone"s usual answer lớn, "What"s new?" becomes boring after a while. So don"t get too worried if you always feel like you"re giving the same old reply. When you"ve sầu known someone long enough, whatever they typically say becomes the equivalent to "Not much...", no matter how exciting or impressive sầu their lives may have sầu seemed to lớn you at first. The traveler visited yet another country. The outdoorsy girl went camping again. The artsy guy put on another play or had another exhibition. The các buổi party animal had another crazy weekend of drinking. Of course, if you do feel bad for not having a life, you should still try to fix it. But not having a sparkling come baông chồng lớn "What"s new?" shouldn"t the main thing you thua sleep over.
They feel like people are grilling them
Some socially inexperienced people are defensive & secretive, because they want lớn hide things such as not having a ton of friends. When people ask them how they are, the insecure, mildly suspicious part of them feel lượt thích they"re being interrogated. They may even think people are asking them "What"s up?" in a mocking way, so they can chuckle over their answer. They may leave sầu everyone feeling a bit confused when they always seem khổng lồ clam up whenever someone asks them how they are.
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When people ask how you are, you can sometimes just say, "Nothing new really" and change the topic. However, you can"t swing too far the other way và never reveal any personal information about yourself. Sometimes they bởi want lớn know, và not giving them anything will make them wonder.
Disliking "What"s up?" because of the awkwardness it can be associated with
There"s no doubt "How are you?" can be at the center of some forced, uncomfortable interactions, especially when you don"t feel lượt thích you have your social act together on the whole. You can come lớn dislượt thích the phrases because of the situations they get linked khổng lồ. One example is when you see someone around all the time, but for whatever reason you always struggle khổng lồ make conversation with them. This happens a lot with co-workers or acquaintances you don"t have sầu a ton in common with. In these cases you always seem to lớn go through the whole greeting thing & it always feels really perfunctory and awkward. You know you should be saying more khổng lồ them, but the words escape you. Every "How are you? Good, you?" just twists the knife. The "What"s new?" is a more a symptom of the problem, not the cause. How to lớn fix the underlying issue of thinking what khổng lồ say is for another article.
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