When people ask me, off the cuff, something simple like:
“How are you?”
I sometimes find it hard to know how to reply.
Obviously, partly this is an age old “I’m human, you’re human, we’re both alive” statement with no deep meaning, but usually there’s also a genuine feeling of “let me know if you’re seriously upset”.
Usually when asked I’ll respond,
“Good, I think”.
which most people, quite reasonably think is a fairly strange response.
The problem is that I don’t generally think about how I am – if I was upset or happy about something 5 days ago, it won’t be at the forefront of my mind.
I’m sure I can’t be alone in this, and it feels like this one of the bits of our culture that doesn’t really make sense.
TL;DR: I insist on responding accurately to an age-old greeting practice.