Brilliant. I think of this more often than I probably should. Through traveling, I have noticed that it is a very western thing to say “I’m good” as soon as someone asks “how are you?” When I lived in Cambodia for a year, all the local Cambodians I met would simply respond with “fine.” If you think about that, that would be a more appropriate response then good because fine doesn’t represent neither good or bad.
Cultural norms are always interesting when it comes to human behaviors.
By Melanie Sue
There is a question I get asked every day, and it’s a question I have answered with a lie more times than I can even count. More times than I’ve lied about seeing Inception. And I would bet my life that you’ve lied about this question as well.
“How are you?”
Personally, I almost always answer, “Good, how are you?” It’s actually more like one word with rises and falls of inflection: “Goodhowareyou.” It literally doesn’t matter how I’m feeling or what I’m doing—it’s “good” and then I flick the conversation back to you. Even if something horrible happened that I plan on telling you about shortly, I always preface it with “good.” I could be sobbing in a pool of my own vomit on the side of the road, and if you asked me how I was, I’d probably answer, “Good, and yourself?”
I don’t know…
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