How do you respond to the greeting: "How ya doin'"?

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?

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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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.

Two almost simultaneous replies, both from Binghamton! How about that! Time to head back to the “fairly interesting” thread! :smiley:

Just fine, and you?
– Sylence

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.

I say “I’m average.” which often gets a smile.


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Oh I’m sure you’re above-average, Guanolad.

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”.

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.


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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!”

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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?”

Super! Thanks for asking! :wink:

doin great here

I opened the door, and look who I found. Damn I’m good

I have a pulse. I must be ok.

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 ?”

A pretty neat response I learned from my father is “About the same”

Leaves them thinking “About the same as what?”

My usual reply:

Wus up?

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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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
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