Social Question

harple's avatar

When someone asks you "How's life?" which area of your life do you find your focus on in your answer?

Asked by harple (10420 points ) June 28th, 2012

If the answer to “How are you?” warrants more than a “Good, thanks” reply, I’ve noticed that the details I then go into are almost exclusively based around how my work-life is. I guess as someone who is self-employed and has no children, it’s natural that it would be paramount in my mind when thinking about how I am.

So, do you automatically start answering about your family, your home, your work, your health, the weather…?? Should/does the focus of your answer tell you anything about yourself?

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30 Answers

YARNLADY's avatar

I just answer back “Hello there”. I don’t discuss the state of my health with most people.

zenvelo's avatar

My family/relationship house first, financial a close second. Recreation is third, Work is a distant fourth.

Coloma's avatar

I don’t share much with others, even though I am a very gregarious and open type I find that the vast majority of people really don’t give a shit, it’s all social niceties. I usually answer with ” good”, or “fine, thank you.”
Occasionally I’ll confide my stress to a friend or my daughter but am not one to talk about my moods or life problems with others much. I also hate unsolicited advice which is what a lot of people do, they see your sharing as an invitation to advise or fix your problem. Bah! I am perfectly capable of fixing my own problems thank you very much! lol

I keep it light and deal with my own stuff.

Trillian's avatar

“How are you?” is a conversation opener, not a request for minutae. IMHO anyway. I feel it is a courtesy to be brief and return the query. Close acquaintances may ask for more details, but the standard; “Fine thanks, and you?” is about as deep as I care to get with most people.

Pol_is_aware's avatar

Being from Missouri, the weather comes first, then I gauge my level of hungoveredness vs the amount of entertainment I’ve been able to consume recently.

JLeslie's avatar

Absence of any major pain, am able to physically do what I want to do, feel financially secure. That is what first comes to mind for me. How do I answer? If all that is doing pretty good, I answer life’s good.

marinelife's avatar

The first thing I think of is how is our relationship, but the first stuff I talk about is usually work.

deni's avatar

In general, work, travel, my cat.

ZEPHYRA's avatar

I don’t elaborate. Just a polite “could be better but I’ve seen worse”.

flutherother's avatar

How I answer depends on my mood at the time and who is asking.

LittleLemon's avatar

Being in a small town, I’ve noticed that a lot of people here will dive right into their life story if asked this question.

As an aside, a close co-worker of mine shared that there’s a woman she sees regularly on the morning elevator ride that goes into the specifics of her bedroom life if asked how she’s doing that day.

For me, however, if a co-worker asks me this question, I will either talk about my cat or my boyfriend, since everyone I work with knows them both well enough (or at least knows of them, in the case of my cat).

Stranger – Curt, polite, “Fine, and you?”
Friend – “Oh you know; workin’ the 10 hour days. Riveting stuff.”
Close friend – “My shit is fucked up, man. Let me tell ya.”

Yetanotheruser's avatar

I echo something I once heard on the radio. I say; “It’s great, but it’ll get better. How about you?”

laurenkem's avatar

Depending on who is asking, I’ll generally say, “Very well, thanks, and how are you?” If it’s a good friend, I may say “Wow, I’ve just had a bitch of a day” with random expletives thrown in for good measure.

picante's avatar

My career/professional activities have driven my muscle memory response to “how’s life” for a very long time. With my first grandchild due shortly, I’m hopeful to regale the inquiring minds with baby stories.

tups's avatar

I just think about how I feel. I’m not sure if I think about any particular area in my life, just how satisfied I am with it at the moment. But like others have said, it’s not often I tell honestly about all my feelings, since people rarely care all that much.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

“Life is good! You?”

“There are days and then there are days. You?”

“Graaak…graaaak.”

mazingerz88's avatar

The physical aspect. Waking up in the morning still breathing. : )

ucme's avatar

People around here will ask “How’s tricks?”
I never know what to say because i’ve never performed magic in any way shape or form.

athenasgriffin's avatar

To my close friends, the only ones I’d truly answer the question for, I first talk about my relationships. Not only romantic, but also other friends and enemies. Then school. Never family.

King_Pariah's avatar

Doesn’t matter really who asks it. It is almost always “I’m fine, yourself?”

Yeahright's avatar

@ucme The question is specifically about How’s life?; so, how’s life? :)

dubsrayboo's avatar

My first reaction is usually how I’m doing mentally. Bipolar is such a huge smug in my brain that when asked how I am or how’s life, I answer how my brain is doing. They don’t know that, but it’s my first reaction.

mazingerz88's avatar

@dubsrayboo Just out of curiosity, if you don’t mind…so how exactly do you respond?

augustlan's avatar

First, health (it’s a major factor every day in how well I’m doing). Second my kids, third my job. Those could all be moved around if something really out of the ordinary is happening in one of those categories.

Aethelflaed's avatar

Work/school. Mainly because I’ve discovered that most people, unless we’re good friends, react somewhat to very poorly to any other answer.

Sunny2's avatar

“It goes on.” BIG smile. “You?”

ucme's avatar

@Yeahright Err, yeah right.

dubsrayboo's avatar

@mazingerz88 The usual is “Ehh” But I’ve done, “crappy, happy, crazy, blah, hyper, angry, TIRED (that’s another usual) and “I’m there.” I don’t believe in telling people I’m all right when I’m not and it takes too long to ask if they are being nice or really want to know, so I just tell them bluntly in one to three words what I am then change the subject to them. Works well most of the time.

downtide's avatar

Funnily enough this exact topic cropped up recently on another forum I’m a member of. My answer is usually “Good, thanks” or “Great, thanks”, and that’s nearly always the truth as far as I’m concerned. I’m focussing mainly on my social life and work life which really are always good or great. Health-wise not so good at the moment but at least it’s nothing life-threatening, and that’s good too.

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