How are you?

I don’t understand why this is such a charged question. Most of the time when I check in with someone who’s been absent due to illness or for some reason I am not aware of, I get a defensive responsive such as “Why do you ask?”

So if asking how are you or how are you feeling is so charged, what’s a better alternative that’s less likely to elicit a defensive or aggressive response?

And what sort of person gets defensive about this sort of innocent inquiry? Or is there something weird about me that’s weirding people out here?

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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