What’s the alternative to, “How have you been?”

I’ve been asking it too much. I’ve been asked it too much. Questions in the how are you family don’t generating interesting insights. We all have scripts we default to in response, awkwardly dancing around wherever is actually going on in our lives.

So what’s the better option?

We could ask, “What’s been energising you recently?” Aggressive out the gate, sure. But bound to spark something of interest.

“Overcome any hurdles this week?” Risky. But cuts the fluff, especially if you can sense the something’s not quite right with someone you care about.

How about, “Are you looking forward to anything coming up?” Sure, it puts a bit of pressure onto whoever you’re talking to, but it leaves the door open for them to decide if they want to talk about a dinner they’re about to have or a wedding they’re going to attend in Summer.

We can do better than our crutches, and we should; people are fascinating. Learning more about them is rarely a bad idea.

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