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Alternatives to "How are you?" - Ask that instead

Do you feel like a speech robot that can only master one question? Your counterpart no longer reacts at all? Use one of these alternatives to the hackneyed "How are you?"

Even if we Germans rarely hear the question “How are you?” In real life, most would probably react annoyed if the phrase suddenly came up at every day-to-day encounter, as in the USA. Nevertheless, digital communication has led to an over-inflationary use of this actually nicely meant expression of interest. So much so that it seems like a necessary evil in our online conversations, without which it no longer works. But what can you ask instead? Here are some alternatives to "How are you?"

Alternative to the real meaning behind "How are you?"

If you really want to find out about the well-being of your counterpart, you can use the following questions as an alternative to "How are you?":

  • How have you been
  • Everything's OK with you?
  • How are you feeling right now?

Or - depending on the conversation partner - a little more humorous:

  • Is your body / head treating you well today?

Another alternative for the standard "How are you?" Would be the addition of a circumstance:

  • How are you doing in this heat / cold?
  • How are you doing on this (rainy) Monday morning?
  • How are you after your project / your exam?

The more personal the circumstance, the more clearly it becomes clear that you actually care about the other person and not just ask a standard question.

Also read: 31 Tips to Save Battery

Alternatives to start a conversation

Since the phrase is mostly used nowadays as an icebreaker - or an attempt at one - you need an alternative with which you can express your interest and at the same time motivate your interlocutor to give an honest answer. Try it out with:

  • What was your highlight today?
  • What is missing to make this day the best of your life?
  • What is driving you lately?
  • Who / what has inspired you lately?
  • What thought did you remember today?
  • Have you thought about something world-changing today?
  • If you could capture a moment from today, which one would it be?
  • Which situation would you have liked to have photographed today?
  • What made you laugh today
  • Which movie scene would you like to be in now?

The difference in these questions is that they require a little more thinking. The respondent has to take it easy for a moment and cannot block with an automated answer such as “Good, thank you!”.

Alternatives for online dating

The emergence of platforms like Tinder and Lovoo has certainly done its part to the disaffection with the question. There the phrase is thrown out in all directions like a blunt fishhook, in the hope that something will bite after all. Next time, try the following alternatives:

  • If you could only eat one dish in your life, which one would it be?
  • What does friendship mean to you?
  • What are your three role models?
  • Who would you be reluctant to discover on this platform?
  • What do you look forward to when you think about tomorrow?

Also read: Singles are looking for more attractive partners online

Prompt instead of asking

One could certainly argue that the question “How are you?” Has meanwhile advanced to an invitation (answer me!), But even then it does not trigger any particular sense of duty to respond. Instead of formulating your alternative to "How are you?" As a question, try it with a polite request:

  • Tell me about your day / your week.
  • Give me a summary of your thoughts today.
  • Let me share in your joy / your suffering.
  • Tell me three things that challenged you this week.

Don't ask so often anymore

A slightly more unconventional alternative would be to stop asking the question that often, especially the much less emotionless "How are you?" Do you remember your school days when your parents asked the same question every day ("How was school?") to which you have certainly reacted just as robotically (“Good!”). With such empty phrases, you literally condition your counterpart into an automatic defensive stance. So in the future only ask if you are really interested and formulate the question completely. That shows respect and real interest.

Also read: Combating cell phone addiction

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