how do you respond to "how are you doing"

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by NevadaRN, Sep 2, 2005.

  1. NevadaRN

    NevadaRN New Member

    Just curious if anyone has a good response to well meaning people who ask how are you doing. I never want to go in to how I am really doing,don't want to sound like I am always talking about my health, but I hate to just say good. Any great pat answers out there? Thanks
  2. dhcpolwnk

    dhcpolwnk New Member

    NevadaRN wrote:

    <<< Just curious if anyone has a good response to well meaning people who ask how are you doing. I never want to go in to how I am really doing,don't want to sound like I am always talking about my health, but I hate to just say good. Any great pat answers out there? Thanks >>>

    My mother and I used to go round after round about that. She would ask how I was, and I'd tell her. Then she'd get upset because I neverseemed to just say "fine," and let it go at that.

    I finally figured out that for most people, asking how somebody is feeling really isn't a question. It's a ritual that says, in effect, "Hello. I'm here. Plese acknowledge my existence."

    After I figured that out, I learned to tell the difference between when my mother (or others) were asking because they really wanted to know, or whether they were just going through the social routine of asking.


    [This Message was Edited on 09/02/2005]
  3. luv2float

    luv2float New Member

    I usually say "hanging in there".
  4. BxGirl

    BxGirl New Member

    It depends on who's asking. Of course, since I'm never really "right" I usually say "okay" since it's just a polite question anyway. Most people don't want to hear about your health problems.

    If it's someone who's really close, I'll tell them how I'm feeling at the time. But I don't dwell on it. There are other things to talk about than fibromyalgia. If it's a friend who HAS fibromyalgia, then that's a different story. We compare notes and try to help each other.

    You have to tailor it to who's asking.

  5. Jeanne-in-Canada

    Jeanne-in-Canada New Member

    If I'm feeling real crappy, and need a little vent, i may sum it up to let them know I'm not peachy, but I'm coping. Like: coping, managing, keeping afloat, surviving, I've had better - I've had worse. Mostly I just say fine because it's the expected reply. I actually find it quite an annoying ritual.

    Ron's Mom asked me how I was last week, I said "fine". So she repeated, "how are you really". I actually was doing pretty good. His Mom has Lupus so she knows.

    My pharmacy team is quite good to me. My favourite there, Heidi, hesitated just a tad before asking me. I asked first, I don't know why, like I said the ritual annoys me, and she'd never tell me if she wasn't. It did sting a bit and made me wonder if I vent a bit more than I think I do. Her hesitation said volumes. It said, "well I should be polite and ask her back, but she might tell me, and I dnt' really want to know, or don't have time for it today".

  6. heartinheaven

    heartinheaven New Member

    I suppose", is my standard response. Most people realy don't care to hear details, but those few who really care will ask questions I can respond to. Other wise, I just leave it at that and we are both happy.


    H Michael

    BLUEROSE7 New Member

    Luv2float...I say the same thing to keep from going into details...Im "Hangin in there"...I leave it at that unless I know the person asking truly wants to know how im doing. I found better to make it short and sweet..

  8. Rose_Red

    Rose_Red New Member

    "I've been worse."
    "Great, for a 90 year old." (I'm 32)
    "I'm still breathing."
    "Crappy, stop asking already."

    and then there's the topper for those 'special' people who ask

    "Do you really want to know?"

    But on the days that I feel good - the whole world knows it!
  9. Jen102

    Jen102 New Member

    as i have been trying to figure this out. it seems like people (especially people from church) expect me to say something that uplifts them and i feel that i always miss the mark. i have routinely said "hangin in there" but even that doesn't seem to satisfy their need to have me say something sufficiently positive. (Others truly are just saying hi, and "hangin in there" or "fine" even when i'm far from fine, are great responses.) I have just started to respond to those I feel are wanting me to be "positive" and uplifting to them--prove that i am making lemonade from lemons, or that i have improved, or that nothing can get me down (or that the illness isn't so bad after all)--by saying, "I am clinging to our Savior." They are totally at a loss of anything to say. They don't keep picking at me to say something positive, as what more could i say than that this illness stinks, but i am trying to remain faithful despite the circumstances. Do you think this is passive aggressive behaviour. I don't think i mean it to be, but maybe i do on some level because i don't think it is fair for me to have to uplift them when i am feeling so low physically. Jen102
  10. Jeanne-in-Canada

    Jeanne-in-Canada New Member

    If that was an honest question, I have an honest answer. Yes, I think it's a bit passive aggressive, but you are entitled to it. You refuse to play the game, and you like to let them know it too.

  11. Jeanne-in-Canada

    Jeanne-in-Canada New Member

    It sure wasn't funny then, I was P.O.'d.

    I was only in early twenties working my first office job, for lawyers no less. Me and lawyers have never gotten on too well. I have this ridiculous idea that I'm an equal or something, even if I was support staff.

    One of the guys, actually a sales rep, who was known to be the nicest guy, asked me how I was. I was sicker than a dog, I had a head cold, a headache and was feeling crusty enough to tell him all about it. Well, I guess he had decided it was time to teach me an etiquette lesson. He kept asking me, "other than that, how are you?" well I kept telling him, truthfully.

    So he kept asking, and started giving me the leading answer, "well other than that, you're fine right?" Can you believe it.

    I don't know how many time we batted that back and forth, w/ me stuborningly deciding to teach him a lesson in honest answers and him wanting to teach me to keep my negativity to myself.

    Can you believe he was a Baptist minister before that job? I guess he was sure he was doing me a favour. Maybe he was, I'm still not sure, but I sure know I'll always remember it.

  12. elsa

    elsa New Member

    On some level, probably is a P.-A. response. It is not your job to up-lift people.

    My three responses.... If is the same as saying "Hi"
    then I'll most likely say "hanging in there" or "fine".

    If they really want to know .... I'll tell them what
    kind of day I'm having without going into detail. ( No
    body needs to hear every detail of a bad day.)

    And lastly, as to the type of people you described..
    I'll say "Thank you for asking." and not another word about it. No embellishment, no explaination, no fibbing to
    spare their sensibilities. Just look 'em in the eye, thank them for asking and move on ....

    I'm sorry honey, but why would it be your job to make someone feel better about your illness ? Of course you don't have to make anyone uncomfortable by going into brutal detail, but to make them feel better ? Members of your church should be more supportive and understanding of you.

    Take care,

  13. rileyearl

    rileyearl New Member

    If it's someone that really cares about me, I tell them the truth. If it's anyone else, I say just fine or wonderful.

  14. pmj952

    pmj952 New Member

    Like most on the board, I respond according to who's asking. If it's someone I know fairly well I'll usually say something like, "I could complain, but I'm not going to".

    If it's someone close and I know they really want to know I'll give a brief but sincere response.

    Everybody else gets the "just fine" response that we all know isn't being listened to anyway.

    Deb J.
  15. Shannonsparkles

    Shannonsparkles New Member

    If the person is just saying it conversationally, I say "Don't ask!" in a joking voice, then I laugh and follow by asking how they are. Then I listen carefully to how they are doing and what they are up to. It lets me live in a bubble of 'normal' for a moment, hearing people talk about the things that are going on with them. Lets me pretend that I'm in that world too. People are fun to be with if you give them a laugh.

    Maybe someday I will find someone I can really talk to though. CFS is a scary place to be alone.

  16. PainPainGoAway

    PainPainGoAway New Member

    My chiro taught me years ago to use the expression

    "As well as can be expected".

    I've been using it for years! I get a lot of positive responses with it-- especially since a lot of the time ones who ask are going thru their own messes or health issues and can identify.

  17. JLH

    JLH New Member

    Like everyone else, I know that whoever is asking doesn't really care to hear your health problems, so I always reply "Oh, OK, how are you?"

    If someone really does care, I'll reply with "I have good days and bad days."

    No need to go into details that they don't want to hear!

  18. helpeachother

    helpeachother New Member

    If i am being polite, i try to say (to be honest) "Well, no NEW complaints--TODAY--and sometimes add, and you already know all of the old complaints, rght?"
  19. Jgavi

    Jgavi New Member

    I have very few people I see since I got sick that when I do see someone and they ask me "how are you doing?

    "just working on staying healthy and happy, its my job and its harder than you think!"

    making it light and funny....who wants to hear the real truth of the hell we secretly go through each scares people away!
  20. Sonoradora

    Sonoradora New Member

    "I'm doing well, how are you?"