Changing the way we respond to “How are you?” with Numbers!

A common stereotype of mathematicians is that they are socially awkward, and I often support that belief with the method in which I respond to casual greetings. In this case, I believe that I am on to something to help increase social interactions and better understand our fellow neighbors.

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Most of the time when we are asked how we are doing, we respond with “good.” It does not matter if we are having a momentous day or if we are miserably sick. Rarely do we hear any detailed response unless we are with a close family member or friend. To facilitate a meaningful conversation as well provide accuracy to my current state of being, I answer in the form of a number. My scale is 1–10 with a 5.5 being in the middle. A response of a “seven” or a “four” gives much more clarity than the more frequent response of “good”.

Watch how we can change the greetings!

Since a 5.5 is the average, I am cognizant having many responses below a rating of a five. When I am having an off day and I respond with a “three” many people are very worried about me as to why my score is so low. I need to explain that a three is indeed below average but nothing major. I do not use the Olympic gymnastics scoring system where every score is in the nine to ten range.

I encourage you to help change the way we respond to “how are you?” and use a number system such as a 1–10. It will surprise and excite people, but might cause some to be less willing to ask you how you are doing in the future. 😊

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