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  1. #1
    Senior Member Smilephantomhive's Avatar
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    Default Alternatives to "Are you Okay?"

    When someone is asked this question people almost always feel obligated to say yes even when they aren't, and I think this can cause severe problems. I think this because of how normal this phrase is, and because it's a yes or no question.

    I think a good alternative is "What do you need?"

    So if you have alternatives to "Are you okay?" then just post them.
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  2. #2
    4x9 cascadeco's Avatar
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    For the record, if I ask people that when I think they aren't doing ok, I'll use a tone that's not very cheery/upbeat, more of a tone of concern, more probing. But I usually take the 'you' out of it and instead say 'Is everything ok?'. And I don't expect a 'yes' -- I genuinely want to know for real, if I ask the question. But I agree, a lot of people may think it's not ok to be honest.

    I guess you could leave it more open-ended, just the 'How are things?'. Or if I think something's wrong, I might add more to the question, 'Are things ok? You seem a little different / down / [insert a word]'. If it's not a personal thing and more like a work situation, maybe something at work pissed a person off, maybe a more specific question. Your 'What do you need' idea might fit in this situation, or 'Can I help with anything?', 'Is something wrong?', or things like that.

    But too, sometimes people just don't feel like talking about it, and that's totally fine. So they might just say 'Yeah, everything's fine' even if it isn't, and that's fine. Whatever people are comfortable with imo.
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  3. #3
    Sweet Summer Dik Dik yama's Avatar
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    "how are you doing?"

    If you phrase it as a question that is open ended instead of yes/no, you get a real answer.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member Lucy_Ricardo's Avatar
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    I'm a fan of the good old-fashioned "what's up?" It's casual and unassuming enough not pressure anyone, but it's open-ended enough to invite someone to confide in you. It's chill, but it lets someone know you're asking and you're there if they want to answer.
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  5. #5
    Problem? Grand Admiral Crunch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lucy_Ricardo View Post
    I'm a fan of the good old-fashioned "what's up?" It's casual and unassuming enough not pressure anyone, but it's open-ended enough to invite someone to confide in you. It's chill, but it lets someone know you're asking and you're there if they want to answer.
    It's casual, but the sound of the words is sharp and crisp. It annoys me a tad when I'm already upset and someone says this to me. I feel like, with this phrase, they've already stepped into my business before I've given them permission.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Frosty's Avatar
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    Do you want to talk?

    Puts the ball into the other persons playing field. Gives THEM a choice I guess. Something thats actually THERE.
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  7. #7
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yama View Post
    "how are you doing?"

    If you phrase it as a question that is open ended instead of yes/no, you get a real answer.
    I don't appreciate this question, from anyone. My standard answer is "busy". Details are usually none of the person's business.

    Quote Originally Posted by cascadeco View Post
    Or if I think something's wrong, I might add more to the question, 'Are things ok? You seem a little different / down / [insert a word]'. If it's not a personal thing and more like a work situation, maybe something at work pissed a person off, maybe a more specific question. Your 'What do you need' idea might fit in this situation, or 'Can I help with anything?', 'Is something wrong?', or things like that.
    If I suspect there really is something wrong and I know the person well enough both to have reasonable confidence in my suspicions and to know that the intrusion will be welcome, I will do something like this. That is rare, though.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  8. #8
    ❆King Quirky Mayflower's Avatar
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    When I notice strangers are uneasy I'll be "They'll deal with it." With my friends, I'm not much more involved. I'm uncomfortable acting "caring" so my typical lead in statement would be "you look like shit" (or some other derivative). Then they'll fuss at me about not caring about their current problem, of which they later explain. Of course, my way doesn't work well around most so...

    How about "Hey, you look 'off' today". or "I'm having a terrible day. You?"
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  9. #9
    Winter in Your Soul Crystal Winter Dream's Avatar
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    "Is anything bothering you? You can talk to me you know" is usually my line.
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  10. #10
    Sweet Summer Dik Dik yama's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    I don't appreciate this question, from anyone. My standard answer is "busy". Details are usually none of the person's business.
    In general, asking someone 'how are you' isn't a rude or bad question, so even if some people still go with 'fine' or 'busy', as long as you don't press them if they don't want to go further, then it's harmless.
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