How are you?
A simple question that has spread and adopted through the culture.
To express care and concern.
To get it in-sync.
Like things we got used to, we get into a groove and deliver a canned response. “I’m fine”. “I’m great, how are you?”.
If the point is to express care and concern, here are some follow-up to get real,
— “No really, how are you?”
— ‘You just told me how are things and I’m asking “how are you?”’
— “I’m glad to know things are in place. How are you?”
— “Okay. That’s your first degree of answer. Let me ask you again. Just tell me something. How are you? How did you sleep? Are you sleeping? Are you eating? Are you tasting the food?”
— “If I ask your wife how are you, what do you think she will says?”
[HT: Esther Perel for these niffy phrases]