The most difficult question to answer: ‘How are you?’ / Nejobtiznejsi americka otazka je ‘How are you?’ The most difficult question to answer: 'How are you?' | Czechmatediary

The most difficult question to answer: ‘How are you?’ / Nejobtiznejsi americka otazka je ‘How are you?’

Even after 12 years of living in the US I still find myself having a hard time answering when people ask me how am I doing. My brain usually comes up with 10 different answers which mill around in there until they all cancel each other out and I end up with no answer. I don’t know why but that question puts such a pressure on me!

Should I just simply say ‘good’ but then what face expression do you use with that? Do you add a tiny bit of sigh to it to let that other person know that you are not completely good (but then that is the negative Czech side coming out in me) or should you just give them a huge grin with it so that there is no doubt that you are doing ‘good’ and then they hopefully leave you alone? Or should you come out with some kind of explanation WHY are you doing SO good? But does that person at that particular moment even care?

I usually either just say ‘good’ and then quickly kick the ball back into their court by asking them how are they doing. If I don’t do that then I usually feel like I owe them an explanation otherwise they will think I am too boring or I am withholding some important information. And that’s where my brain starts to juggle with 10 different answers and usually ends up having a shortage and spits out some random information about my kids (like the baby just got the next tooth). Does anyone has the same problem or is it just me?

The same thing goes for the question “How was your weekend”? First I feel like I was put on the spot (which I am) and second, I can never remember what I did.

So the question is, do I have trouble with those things because my memory does not serve me well or because after all these years I still have not gotten used to these everyday questions?

If someone asks you that question in the Czech Republic it is usually an opportunity for you to complain so it really is a 180 degree turn to put up a smile and say ‘great!’. But it is a good turn, I think!

CZ: I po 12 letech ziti v Americe mam stale problem odpovidat na vetu “How are you?”. A i kdyz nad tim casto premyslim, nemuzu se dopidit proc. Vim, ze je to tady v Americe brane jako povrchni otazka a proto nikdy nevim, jakou povrchni odpovedi mam odpovedet. Mam vzdycky odpovedet ‘good’? I kdyz nejsem ‘good’? Nebo k tomu ‘good’ pridam trosku povzdechu, aby jim doslo, ze teda nejsem uplne 100% good? A co potom? Jakou povrchni opoved mam sdilet? Ja vetsinou placnu neco o mych detech a pak se rychle zeptam te druhe osoby, jak se ma on/ona.

Z Cech jsem jeste zvykla, ze jestli se vas nekdo zepta jak se mate, tak je to vestinou prilezist si postezovat. Ale tady je to pravy opak! Coz je asi lepsi…..

 

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