How often do you hear this and then automatically respond "great - and how about you?" Have you ever reflected upon how often you lie in your response? I realized that I lie quite a bit. I just find it not "nice" to say "Well, I feel like shit because..." and give the reason "I'm in a lot of pain, my Dad died, my husband's in the hospital, my Mom's sick..."
Sometimes I think it would be funny to respond as Whoopi Goldberg's did in "Jumping Jack Flash" when under the influence of truth serum. I don't remember the entire dialog but something like "well, I hate my job, I hate the city, ......, I feel like I'm on my period all the time...." That would be very funny.
I realize I lie basically for two reasons. I don't want to complain and I don't want to make the other person feel bad. Probably the third reason is that I am trying to trick myself into believing I feel great ;).
Because of this behavior, I have been deemed "cold" and "uncaring" by some because I try very hard to put on a happy face and do my crying behind closed doors. I wasn't always like this. But once I entered a predominately male dominated field there was no way I wanted my male associates to see me engaged in a stereotypically "female" reaction.
Eventually this attitude extended to personal issues, primarily because I didn't want to make people feel sad. I deal better with emotionally painful situations if I can focus on what needs to be done and shut the door on my emotions. I've spent years of being in situations where it is prudent to appear unemotional whether at work, sitting in a hostile lawyer's office, dealing with my Husband's heart issue or my Father's death. But this doesn't mean that I don't care or don't agonize over things. I just do it at night when no one is around to see. I deal with a chronic sleeping order and have a happy face during the day - so let people call me uncaring and cold.
So, how are you? I'm just great!! Really... ;)