You may pause when somebody asks, “how are you.” Of course, your response depends on who you’re talking to, so you might not want to sound too serious or goofy. For example, are you texting a work contact? Then your reply should tend toward professionalism and sincerity. But what if you’re texting the girl or guy of your dreams?
The classic “I’m fine, thanks for asking” is good when you don’t want to pursue the conversation much more. For instance, if you’re texting a store clerk or delivery person, you can respond like that. But it’s a conversation-stopper. It’s a polite way of saying “end of discussion.”
This list is for you if you’re fed up with the old, so-so, half-hearted responses. Choose any of these answers to breathe fresh air into your mundane conversations. Use them to lead any discussion in a more exciting direction.
The Forgotten Truth About “How are You” Texts
People tend to bend the truth less often when using mobile devices. That’s when you’re likely to get an honest answer to a sensitive question. They lie more when they’re having face-to-face conversations.
A recent study presented to the American Association for Public Opinion Research proves this point. People are also tend to give more accurate answers to numerical questions by text.
As a result, “how are you” text messages will elicit more genuine responses than someone asking you the same question face-to-face. The trick is to give them an honest answer in a polite manner.
But you don’t always have to be serious about it. You can provide a flirty response to “how are you.” Or, you can give a funny response to “how are you.”
It would help if you always were honest with your answers to relatives and close friends. But you might not want to do the same with strangers. Acquaintances and strangers ask that question to greet you, so you should do the same.
Give the stock response of “Fine, thank you, and you?” and move on. Read on for several options you can tweak and make your own.
What is the Best Response to How are You?
By “best response,” we mean these replies are perfect for each time someone asks, “how are you.” Good answers include classics like “Fine, thank you” and “I’m great.”
They’re simple and direct, and they convey your feelings in a positive light. Play it safe and use these responses when in doubt.
The “I’m fine” response is primary. But it’s also suitable when you’re unsure of what answer to give. It’s best to stick to the basics in such instances.
You can tackle “I’m fine” in many ways. You need to consider your relationship with the other person and your mood. Once you do that, you can tailor your response.
For instance, You can be witty or funny if it is a friend. Some friends (especially churchgoers) will be amused when you reply, “Not today, Satan!”
One of the best yet underrated ways to answer “how are you” is to demonstrate that you care about other people too. Establishing personal connections is essential. Here are some examples:
“Did you hear?”
“Did you hear about [positive event in mutual friend’s life/career]? I’m so happy for them. They deserve it more than anyone.”
Qualify this response with something like, “I am a 9.9999 out of 10.” You can also generate goodwill by calling attention to a team member’s accomplishment. For instance, “My day has been awesome. Ben solved the issue with the new feature – I’m so happy about that.”
“Well” or “Very Well”
This answer is correct because the best responses to “how are you” should contain an adverb. You can use variations, such as, “Well enough to chat with you if you wish.”
Or “Better than some, not as good as others.” Or, “Happy and content, thanks for asking. Hope this status quo persists for the rest of the day.”
It’s difficult for others to resist your good mood when you’re enthusiastic. “Great” is an enthusiastic response. It’s also a perfect introduction to a conversation if you wish to start one.
You can text something like, “My day has been great so far [give a reason why. Your reason doesn’t need to be spectacular].
You can say, “Thank you for asking! I’m having a great day. The weather forecast said it’s no longer going to rain tomorrow, so I can go for a long hike.”
“Good, thanks for asking.”
You can add something to this response (and any others in this section) to show that you care about the textee. For instance, “How’s that project going? I’m available if you need any help or some constructive criticism.”
Be sure to smile and use a positive tone when you answer with the word “fine.” Why? Because “fine” can mean you’re not all right if you say it with a frown. Here’s an example of “fine” being used in the right way: “Fine, thanks. I’m looking forward to …”
When you use this response, you’re acknowledging something you’re pleased about. It can be the snowfall or the trip you’re taking over the weekend. Or it can even be the latest season of a fantastic series on Netflix. The other person will appreciate your positive response.
“What a coincidence!”
“What a coincidence! I was about to text you because …”
“I’m doing well! I meant to text you this comical photo I took the other day.”
“Great, thanks for asking. While we’re talking, can I get your opinion on something?”
“I’ll be honest – I’ve had better days.”
End with the hope that tomorrow will be better. Don’t be afraid to be honest (unless you’re speaking to a total stranger).
Having a terrible day is hard enough – trying to cover it up can be even worse. Being a little vulnerable with people often strengthens the relationship.
Sharing the less-than-good times is kosher if you end on a cheerful note. For instance, you can end with “I can’t wait for tomorrow – we need a new start.”
The 2 Worst Responses to “How are You”
“Could be Better”
That would be a terrible reply, especially if the question came from a stranger on a dating app. The goal behind a dating app, after all, is to create a flirty, fun vibe.
The plan after finding that vibe is to meet up in person. This response will not help you reach either of these goals. Why? Because it’s so negative and wishy-washy.
“Could be Worse”
The person asking “how are you” is looking for a quick, positive answer. This negative response is full of bad vibes. While that person may be looking for a genuine reply, an answer like “could be worse” is soul-crushing. Such a response is hardly ever warranted.
Sharing the bad times is all right because not every “I’m okay” is okay. Only true friends can feel the pain behind this “I’m okay.” But, even if someone is your friend with whom you can share anything, the two responses listed above are definite no-gos.
It’s Okay to Tell the Truth
The best solution will be if you go with a polite version of the truth when in doubt. There’s a lot more to it than telling your textee about your emotional state at the moment.
That’s especially true when you’re texting someone who cares about your feelings. You can handle it in two ways: make a grand gesture or send a tacit message.
For instance, let’s say you’re texting your soon-to-be ex. You can say something like, “I’m not sure what to say because you asked me to give you space.
Does this text mean you’re ready to talk?” Or, “Hi. I’m doing okay, but you floored me when you said you needed space, as I hadn’t seen any issues.
Still, I respect your need for time. Do you want to meet and talk about what worried you about us? Or was it not about that?” Those responses are polite, and they make valid points. They also put the onus on your ex to explain what’s happening.
Do you want to let your textee know you’re having a less than stellar day? Say something like, “I’d be lying if I said I’m fine. Surviving, I guess.” Or, “I’ve been going through GOT in my work life.
Is everything stable in your kingdom?” End the text on a positive note – like, “things will get better tomorrow.” You might inspire them to commiserate with you, as in, “Ugh, I’m having an awful day myself. What’s going on with the universe today?”
30 Funny Responses to “How are You?”
Add some character to your reply to command the other person’s attention. Ditch the mechanical responses and adopt the fun and witty comebacks. They keep the conversations exciting.
Even if you’re only finding a new way to say, “I’m fine,” do it with flair. You can say you’re “living the dream” or “slaying dragons.”
Use text abbreviations, emoticons, GIFs, and the like. Those devices will make the texts feel like they’re your authentic thoughts.
Here are some funny responses to “how are you:”
“I still haven’t figured it out.” Not sure about your feelings rn? Don’t want to get into it? This response is a friendly (and fun) way to say, “Don’t ask.”
“I plead the Fifth.”
“It depends on who I compare myself to.”
“You go first so we can compare.”
“Somewhere between blah and meh.”
“Can’t complain. I’ve tried, but no one listens.”
“In need of some peace and quiet.”
“Imagining myself having a fabulous vacation.”
“The best I can be. Assuming you’re at your best too.”
“I’m better than before but not nearly as good as I should be.”
“I’m doing well. Medium well.”
“I’ve got a pulse, so I must be doing okay.”
“Great! My name wasn’t in today’s obituaries.”
“Way better than I deserve.”
“Superb! If I were a llama, I’d be humming.”
“Do you want the short answer? Or the long answer?”
“At minding my business? So much better than most people.”
“Let’s do a phone call instead. It’s a long story!”
“I’m a bit busy slaying dragons. You?”
“I hear good things. But, you should never listen to rumors.”
“I’m planning to take over the world.”
If You Don’t Mind Sounding Like a Psycho:
“My psychiatrist said I shouldn’t discuss that with strangers.”
“Living a life of emotional imbalance, suppressed rage, and denial.”
“Well, I have the strange itch on my right butt cheek.”
“I’m feeling so good I might need to tie my hands to stop myself from clapping.”
“I think I’m doing okay. How do you think I’m doing?”
“A lot is going on, and I don’t know where to begin. Can you tell me what I should be doing?”
“What’s with the inquisition? Are you a cop?”
10 Flirty Responses to “How are You”?”
The blend of flirting and humor is a powerful way to answer the question “how are you.” Let your textee know that they’ve elevated your mood. Here are some suggested responses.
“I thought today was going to be bad, but it looks like it’s getting better.”
“How have things been with you? Come walk with me and tell me all about it.
“Awesome, thank you for asking! But we’re always talking about me. I’d like to hear how you’re doing?
“Things are a bit thorny, but we can talk about it if you want!”
“Still single, in case you were wondering.”
“Well, I am great. I have been even better in the last 4-5 seconds. Do you have any idea why? Anyway, we don’t need to hear about me. Let’s talk about how you’ve been doing.”
“It’s all about how I want to feel. I woke up with the notion that I wanted to be happy. That’s why I’m having this pleasant chit-chat moment with you.”
“I love you (this response is awesome if you want to catch your textee off-guard and fluster them).”
“So much better now that you’re here with me.”
“Given that you texted me, I’m certain I’ll feel even better by the end of this conversation.”
How to Respond to “How are You” on Dating Apps
The following scenario is almost inevitable when it comes to online dating. You match with somebody who seems interesting only to get an initial message like “What’s up?” or “Hey, how are you?”
Getting a conversation going may be daunting if the other person doesn’t give you much to work with. But there are a few surefire ways to move toward a more fruitful and exciting conversation.
Say “What’s up” back to them.
On some dating apps, your match will expire if you don’t respond within a day or two. A quick response shows that you still want to know your match.
Since you replied with a similar message, your match must think of a way to keep the conversation going. That takes the pressure off you.
Respond with a question
Responding to your texter with a question is a superb way to learn more about the person you’re chatting with. For instance:
“I’m so happy you texted me! I’m intrigued by your travels to [insert destination]. That’s on my bucket list! What was your trip like?
I would love for you to tell me more about yourself. I see you’re a fan of John Grisham. Did you read his last book?”
“It’s so nice to meet you! What’s it like being a [insert career].”
“I love to see how much you’re into [insert hobby]. When did you start doing it?
Before you decide to disregard your texter, you can offer a witty response such as:
“Your pics look fun, but your “how are you” opening line is boring. Try again.”
“We can’t tell our friends your opening line was “how are you” in six months when we’re official. Try again.”
“Life is all about second chances and forgiveness. You got anything else besides “how are you?”
“You could’ve at least mentioned something cute about my cat!”
“Oh, you know, just waiting for someone to send me a funny first message.”
“Who told you that’s my favorite first message ever?”
“I’ll allow you a do-over because you’re cute.
“Wanna get drinks tonight? My thumbs need a rest from typing and swiping.”
Continuing the Conversation Beyond “How are You”
We’ve seen the importance of witty responses besides the generic “I’m fine.” These responses are often the most innovative way to kickstart a conversation. But keeping the conversation flowing may take some effort on your part.
An insightful but honest answer is your best bet. Knowing how to respond to “How are you” depends on understanding the mood of the person asking. It also depends on your relationship with them.
Still, admit if you’re feeling bad. Often, people hide their feelings. Thus, hearing someone willing to confess their negative sentiments is always welcome. Good luck!