How are you? That phrase is a bit overused and under meant.  Wouldn't you agree?  It's a cultural version of sorts for hello.  They are hollow words mostly used as a sentence acknowledgement over a single hello or hi.  But for the most part, in most circumstances of use, they mean hi.  It's a way to verbally note someones presence who is in proximity to us.  Sometimes they are said by store clerks.  Sometimes they are said between two parties when hi seems too short and both want to acknowledge the other.  Neither though, expect a sincere response to the how are you.  Culturally we have done to how are you much like we have watered down the words I love you.  I guess it bothers me.  Because I am a person who says exactly what they mean, saying a word, a phrase without the real meaning behind it saddens me.  How are you really isn't a hello greeting to me nor do I typically use it in that context.  If I say how are you to a friend, family member or even a total stranger it is followed up with another phrase designed to let them know I really care to hear how they are.  Or it is followed up with a response to their answer purposed to get them to really speak about how they are - to be real.  I'm going to venture to say that in the insincerity category men probably use that phrase more times as a greeting than as a real question that they are seeking a real answer to.  It's a guys way to sort of tip their hat to someone, give a farmer wave (that is a nod combined with a one finger raise without taking their hands off their tractor or truck's steering wheel).   Culture has morphed words and phrases into things that were not their original meanings or use intentions.  The word gay used to mean simply; happy in sort of high spirited kind of way.  Words are adapted to culture.  That's not all bad.  I love words and have created a few versions and meanings of morphed words from time to time myself.  But I am beyond bothered at the insincere use of how are you.  Questions are to be asked and answered sincerely.   I know, I have a highly inquisitive mind.  Questions are not taken lightly by me.  I ask when I want to know about anything.  Even, how are you.

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