Contrary to popular opinion, I think it’s a great question. Because it’s predictable. If we know something will be asked from us we can prepare for it. It’s also a wonderful question because it’s open-ended.
Because it’s an open question, how you answer should depend on what you want to happen in the conversation.
- If you have great news you can use it to share it.
- If you have bad news and you want to talk about it, then you can.
- If you don’t want to get into the specifics you can say “It’s okay, how about you?”
- It’s small talk, one way to always have something to say.
Furthermore, it’s an opportunity to tell an interesting story. If you want to entertain someone at a more social gathering then you can.
You also need to keep in mind the other person. Why did they ask that? What is the context? Are you at a party or at the cash register? Is this person someone you talk with regularly or not? Sometimes it’s just a polite question to ask before getting to the reason we really want to talk.
Try to understand why someone asks this from you. Look at their face. Are they looking into your eyes, are they interested in hearing your answer or are they doing it just because it’s polite? If they seem to be absentminded or busy with something else it might simply be a polite question and it may be wise to simply return the question and say “I’m fine, how about you?”.
Sometimes it’s simply a pleasantry. No need to overthink it. As with all social skills it works better in real life then it does online. Seeing a person’s face, hearing their voice and their mannerisms helps us better adjust our messaging and get clearer feedback about how our conversation is going.
7 Potential Answers to “How is your day going?”:
- I’m great, how are you?
- I’m fine, how are you?
- I’m not doing so great… (explain why)
- I’m a bit tired from … but otherwise great.
- Much better now that I’m talking with you!
- I’m okay. (If you don’t want the conversation to continue)
- You know, just living one day at a time. You?
I found the question on reddit and fellow redditors also had some cute answers.