2019-01-23 14:28:41

Posted on Wednesday, 23rd January 2019 2:28 PM EST

polite society by joe jenettjoe jenett

Did you ever realize how many people ask “how are you?” and never wait for an answer? And when you ask “how are you?” do you really want to know? “Not too well, thank you. I have a headache and my wife is cheating on me.” So, who is responsible for these polite greetings we use, anyway?

I've noticed that it is considered discourteous to respond negatively to the "How are you?" question. Perhaps, I am not feeling well. Perhaps I had a rocky night of sleep or something unfortunate has happened in my life. But it seems the only answer allowed is "Fine, thank you". I've also been chastised, oy! by my wife, that I had not asked her "How are you?". I have started greeting people with Hello. Just hello.

4 thoughts on “2019-01-23 14:28:41”

  1. I first saw this on Khürt Williams’ reply to Joe Jennet’s post. When I started to converse with people it was back before I knew that cellphones existed like the appearance of the Nokia and RAM was expensive to buy for computers still on 14.4K-baud dial-up modems. Back then before technology came into my life, it was more important to have real deep conversations with others as we sat on the front porch engaging our neighbors across the street. I came from that era where “How are you?” or “How are you doing?” really was returned by an answer that showed they wanted to more know than receive a simple answer like “I’m fine. Thank you.”

    I had to get used to giving a shorter answer to that question once more people held technology up to their ears and eyes and avoided eye contact outside of their e-device chains.

    Now I consider people more genuine who really show interest in my life or don’t take the easy route of walking quickly past without acknowledging my presence. And I ask them a second time, if I notice they have time or really care about me, the same question but with an added word, “How are you really doing?” to show that I really care about them too. Even with close friends, I like to break them out of these bad social habits by pressing into their lives the importance of spending quality time with others and not rushing themselves into the next moment but encouraging them to be present in the moment presented.

    And there are those that say “Hello” with a smile but keep walking and don’t show the interest to stop and talk. I’m not saying that if you really need to be somewhere to keep a commitment that you should stop and talk with me but it would be nice to see that extra effort from them.

    Because of all these non-engaging actions from individuals, greetings are so surreal as if they never happened as if in my own words, “Why did they bother to be verbally polite with me if they had no intentions of following through with their body language?” They would rather be curt with their words than court a sincere conversation.

  2. I first saw this on Khürt Williams’ reply to Joe Jennet’s post. When I started to converse with people it was back before I knew that cellphones existed like the appearance of the Nokia and RAM was expensive to buy for computers still on 14.4K-baud dial-up modems. Back then before technology came into my life, it was more important to have real deep conversations with others as we sat on the front porch engaging our neighbors across the street. I came from that era where “How are you?” or “How are you doing?” really was returned by an answer that showed they wanted to more know than receive a simple answer like “I’m fine. Thank you.”

    I had to get used to giving a shorter answer to that question once more people held technology up to their ears and eyes and avoided eye contact outside of their e-device chains.

    Now I consider people more genuine who really show interest in my life or don’t take the easy route of walking quickly past without acknowledging my presence. And I ask them a second time, if I notice they have time or really care about me, the same question but with an added word, “How are you really doing?” to show that I really care about them too. Even with close friends, I like to break them out of these bad social habits by pressing into their lives the importance of spending quality time with others and not rushing themselves into the next moment but encouraging them to be present in the moment presented.

    And there are those that say “Hello” with a smile but keep walking and don’t show the interest to stop and talk. I’m not saying that if you really need to be somewhere to keep a commitment that you should stop and talk with me but it would be nice to see that extra effort from them.

    Because of all these non-engaging actions from individuals, greetings are so surreal as if they never happened as if in my own words, “Why did they bother to be verbally polite with me if they had no intentions of following through with their body language?” They would rather be curt with their words than court a sincere conversation.

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