A reflex.

Allow me to reenact a segment of a phone call to my desk at work:

Me: “Hi! How are you?”
Caller: “Fine. How are you?”
Me: “I’m good. How are you?”

Awk-ward.

Plus any indication of a sincere interest in her state of being is thwarted when it becomes clear that “how are you” has become a reflex. In the moment, it’s equal parts embarrassing and hilarious. In retrospect, it’s a little scary. What else do we say (or do) so much that it loses meaning (or we lose awareness of it)?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Ah, but it happens!

    Since working at a movie theater back in college, I force myself to watch my words when the ticket-ripper tells me to enjoy the show. Never again shall I be the one who says, “Thanksyoutoo!” as I move on.

  • @Christina: LOL. I’ve been that one, too! 🙂