How are you? Not bad

Whenever I’m asked how I am, I always reply with "not bad". This is weak on two counts:

– It’s not a definitive stance on how I am. Instead, it’s a stance on what I’m not
– The status doesn’t change according to circumstance.

In short, it’s an easy way out, which I’m sure other people are guilty of. From now on, I will try to give a more considered, definitive response based on my current state.


10 Responses to “How are you? Not bad”

  1. Joe on April 11th, 2006 10:21

    How are you?

  2. Dan on April 11th, 2006 10:51

    Thanks for asking, Joe. Things are pretty good right now. Lots of good stuff to look forward to.


  3. Jon Willis on April 11th, 2006 11:19

    Too right Dan.

    ‘not bad’ belongs in the same category as ‘fine’.

    I find you get some amazing reactions from people when you tell them how you really feel – and you get honest responses from them as well.

  4. Atul on April 11th, 2006 17:01

    “Not bad” isn’t as bad as answering with another “How are you?” I guess that’s because the question is initially asked in passing, in a way that is just meant as a hello, not in a genuine way in which the person really wants to know how you are.

  5. Shanahan on April 12th, 2006 04:22

    Are you bad?

  6. Dan on April 12th, 2006 04:55

    No, Francis. I’m good. Thanks for asking!

  7. Dale Carnegie on April 12th, 2006 05:13

    Don’t be a berk, people don’t want your life story or your true state of misery.

    It’s just a verbal nod rather than an into your psyche.

  8. Dan on April 12th, 2006 05:24

    You misunderstand, Dale. I’m not planning on boring people to death with the minutiae of my life. I’ll merely give them a more accurate picture of my state, about which they asked, positive or otherwise.

  9. Rob on April 12th, 2006 16:04

    So true, it’s just a verbal nod – very well put Dale.

    The standard answer here in Aus is, “Good” as in, “I’m good”. This is of course more positive than, “Not bad”, so thumbs up for us.

    It’s so common to be greeted with, “How’s it going?” or, “How you going?” that one’s instinct is to say, “Good” or “I’m good” without thought.

    In fact, it’s so instinctive that sometimes someone will introduce themselves with, “Hi”, or, “Pleased to meet you”, and you still answer, “Good thanks”

  10. AlanM on April 13th, 2006 03:55

    I tend to go for “mostly good” – I find that satisfies people. It treads the line between “fine” (which we rarely are) and giving a life story (which no one wants to hear).

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