View Full Version : How do you respond to the greeting: "How ya doin'"?
12-11-1999, 09:22 PM
This phrase - "how ya doin'" is very common and I'm not sure how to reply to it. A few folks at work pass me in the hall and say it; I usually say "oh, okay, how you?" They say "okay" or "fine." But I'm thinking that it's meant only as a greeting and not literally. Respond in kind? Miss Manners once wrote that with formal introductions, when one person says "How do you do," it is not meant literally, and that you should respond the same. But "how ya doin'" is so casual,and uttered by acquaintances, that it strikes me as in need of a more meaninful response. This really started bugging me when an employee in my building whom I didn't know passed me in the hall and said it as she went by. It threw me because I didn't know her, and I glanced back as she kept walking. I muttered "hi." Later I thought that in that situation,it really was just a friendly way of saying hi, and it would've been better to say "how ya doin'" back. I was in the grocery store with my s.o. and when we walked up to the cashier at the checkout, he said it and she said it almost at the same time. It seemed kind of awkward to me. I get it from store cashiers a lot. I thought maybe I should just start saying it first and let the other person worry about how to respond. It may seem trivial, but I don't want to appear rude or socially inept, and that's how I feel sometimes when greeted this way. Why the hell can't they just say "hi" and be done with it. Do you use this greeting and if so, what kind of response do you expect?
12-11-1999, 09:32 PM
I have two answers that I give. I can't take credit for coming up with the first, but I can't recall where I saw it.
They say: How ya' doing'?
I say: If I were any better, I'd be twins!
They say: How ya' doing'?
I say: Great, you?
Keep it simple. No one wants to hear a list of health or personal problems, it's just a little way of saying "hello".
I don't personally use this, because too frequently the person will stop and actually TELL you how their doing. Yuk. Instead, I say "Hi!". That's it!
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Not enough and you're gonna die...
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12-11-1999, 09:33 PM
I usually say "fine" on ordinary days. "Great" if I'm in a good mood. I'm feeling horrible or depressed, or in any mood that would cause friends to become concerned at the answer to the question, I usually just ignore it and hand the cashier my money.
12-11-1999, 09:35 PM
Two almost simultaneous replies, both from Binghamton! How about that! Time to head back to the "fairly interesting" thread! :D
12-11-1999, 09:38 PM
Just fine, and you?
I don't have an evil side. Just a really, really apathetic one.
It's really less formal than you think, and needs, I often just smile back or nod, maybe if I know the person I tap their arm. It's just a wkkp walking, keep talking kind of thing.
12-11-1999, 10:39 PM
I say "I'm average." which often gets a smile.
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12-11-1999, 11:01 PM
Oh I'm sure you're above-average, Guanolad.
12-11-1999, 11:03 PM
Sometimes I'll give it a "I'm so happy, I have to sit on my hands to keep from clapping". Other times it's the 'silent hello', where you look 'em in the eye and give that nod that says "You know how I'm doing".
12-11-1999, 11:23 PM
For the first half of my day, I say, "It's too early to tell." After that, I usually say "Groovy."
No, really. I do. I'm not even being sarcastic.
Well, sometimes I am being sarcastic, but mostly, I really mean it.
Isn't it interesting that the same people who laugh at science fiction listen to weather forecasts and economists?
--Kelvin Throop, III
12-11-1999, 11:28 PM
Monday through Thursday:
"I dunno...is it Friday yet?"
Friday: "It's a good thing it's Friday"
Saturday & Sunday: "Get away from me or I'll sic the dogs on ya!"
Lex Non Favet Delicatorum Votis
12-12-1999, 12:30 AM
Usually I just say something like "Well, I'm here. And, I think I'm alive. How are you?" or if it's really early I'll just say "I don't know, I haven't opened my eyes yet. Do my socks match?"
12-12-1999, 01:29 AM
Super! Thanks for asking! ;)
12-12-1999, 01:36 AM
doin great here
I opened the door, and look who I found. Damn I'm good
12-12-1999, 02:01 AM
I have a pulse. I must be ok.
12-12-1999, 04:57 AM
If I know you well I'll say "Well, I'm still alive..."
If I don't, it's either "fair to midlin', and yourself ?" or "fine and you ?"
12-12-1999, 05:42 AM
A pretty neat response I learned from my father is "About the same"
Leaves them thinking "About the same as what?"
12-12-1999, 07:34 AM
My usual reply:
Others: I'm here. That's gotta count for something.
The silent guy nod is always an option, as well.
You say "cheesy" like that's a BAD thing.
" Still doin'. It's only when you stop doin' that you get in trouble in this world."
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12-12-1999, 10:06 AM
I usually say either "I'm gettin' by" or "Fine, as long as the clock keeps going clockwise."
the latter is used mainly at work.
Live a Lush Life
12-12-1999, 01:40 PM
" Haven't missed a meal."
"Day late, dollar short."
12-12-1999, 01:42 PM
I say "I dunno, what did you hear?"
12-12-1999, 02:18 PM
Blue Twylight! Have you seen my animals?
12-12-1999, 02:20 PM
A great reply I had heard a few years back:
< In a slow Southern drawl >: Well, I feel like a million bucks, but I look like a refund.
You say "cheesy" like that's a BAD thing.
12-12-1999, 08:00 PM
"Wide awake, alert, and enthusiastic!"
That usually annoys.
My buddy the vet student always replies with "BARH", which among anyone but vets compels him to explain: "bright, alert, reactive, and hydrated", the shorthand for any normal animal when you're doing rounds.
"It ain't no sin to be glad you're alive"
12-12-1999, 08:07 PM
"So far, so good."
12-12-1999, 08:24 PM
I like "so far, so good." Brief, and doesn't require being perky. I just wish these people would stop saying it altogether. It happened again today in the grocery store, and even though I'd read these responses, I still replied lamely, okay. Call me a grump, but I don't care how THEY are doing so it just doesn't occur to me to say "and you?" I don't want to start up a conversation with the cashier; I just want her/him to scan the damn groceries and bag 'em so I can get the hell outta there. "So far, so good" doesn't invite a reply, so I'm going with that. Thanks everyone.
12-12-1999, 08:50 PM
Mindless polite mode-"Alright, how're you?"
More myself-"Not done yet..."
12-12-1999, 09:31 PM
Like the 'groovy' and 'neato' response, it elicits smiles. As a contraction of 'all is well,' it does answer the question without getting personal.
12-12-1999, 10:30 PM
Ok. How 'bout you?
Finer than frog fur
12-13-1999, 12:00 AM
My hubby's favorite response, used only with good friends and family members
"How ya doing?"
"Fair to partly shitty"
Okay, I guess you have to be there...but it usually makes them laugh.
"We are what we pretend to be."
- Kurt Vonnegut
12-13-1999, 12:14 AM
I like to say that I'm fairly okay, or to borrow from Carlin, I'm "moderately neato." I have a government job, though, so if one of my co-workers asks me how I'm doing, a reply is usually not necessary. A simple eye roll will usually suffice.
12-13-1999, 09:16 AM
I answer honestly, which means my response can vary from "Great!" to "Shitty!"
If I'm in a recursive mood, I respond "OK, how are you doing?" Then I see how many times we can go 'round.
12-13-1999, 09:48 AM
I don't treat this greeting any differently than others. I usually answer with a question: "how am I doing what?
2nd choice, especially if it's an obvious prelude to a favor: "I guess that depends on what you're about to say".
I'm more concerned about people who come up to me and bark "HEY!" as a greeting. This totally threw me until somebody told me that it's a favorite midwestern greeting. Until then my reply was "WHAT?"
12-13-1999, 09:51 AM
I always like these:
"Mm, you?" (Mm in this case is just a little sympathetic noise, not like 'Mmmmmmm, delicious')
"I hear I'm fabulous."
and "I'm okay as long as you don't ask for details."
12-13-1999, 04:01 PM
I respond to it just fine thank you.
I really try to be good but it just isn't in my nature!
12-13-1999, 05:21 PM
I usually tell them the truth. This tends to break them of the habit of using "How ya Doin'?" as a substitute for "Hello." It also guarantees that I'll be left alone, which is what I usually want anyway.
It's a long way to heaven, but only three short steps to hell.
12-13-1999, 10:27 PM
Passer-by: How're ya doin'?
"That's entertainment!" —Vlad the Impaler
12-14-1999, 12:00 AM
If you're in a biker bar, the correct response is "Up yours, mate!"
At the office: "Do you want the long version or the short version?" Then watch your colleague run for cover.
Quand les talons claquent, l'esprit se vide.
12-14-1999, 12:13 AM
"I'm still a million bucks shy of being a millionaire."
12-14-1999, 12:56 AM
"Fair to midlin', and you?"
"Fair to partly cloudy."
"Better'n some, worse'n others."
::muttering:: "I coulda been a contender!"
The overwhelming majority of people have more than the average (mean) number of legs. -- E. Grebenik
12-14-1999, 01:00 PM
I rather like, "Swimmingly". It sounds so, I don't know, bouyant.
"Not bad for an old man"
If you can't convince them, confuse them.
Harry S. Truman
12-15-1999, 12:41 AM
I refuse to lie when asked that question. It's led to people I barely know being inundated with a conversation they never expected to be in, let me tell you.
In my old age, I have mellowed a bit, however. Now, if I ain't doin' all that well, an honest, "Lousy, but it's not your fault" is my comeback.
12-16-1999, 10:39 AM
- I'm fine, how are you?
- Ahh, it's not Friday yet.
12-16-1999, 11:04 AM
With a bone-crushing punch to the nose.
12-16-1999, 11:38 AM
How about this, then:
Having a good day, O Ukie One?
"Hangin' in there" or when down
"Better than nuthin'"
In my best Joey Trebbiani:
"How YOU doin'?"
Sometimes I say "Hi!" out of reflex, and then I feel stupid, thinking I just told that person I'm high.
12-16-1999, 03:07 PM
Tell them you're at a disastrous crossroads in your life, just to see if they're paying attention.
"Hey! How 'bout that Toe Jam?"
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