When “How Are You?” Is Good Enough

Social manners, Avoid faux pas, Reunions

Image from Flickr Creative Commons by Life Life Happy

Whenever I meet old friends I make sure that I learn something new. Be it an update about people we once knew or an idea that could inspire me. The most recent was over shots of Johnnie Walker Double Black which was an affirmation of one of the things of I have been pondering along.

Reunions, whether with relatives, friends or old acquaintances, are exciting but it is that initial greeting that could determine how it will end up. Out of excitement, people can get tactless especially when meeting those whom they meet for the first time after a long time. There is always the risk that even well-meaning questions could be received wrongly so it pays to show some sensitivity or social manners.

Days before Christmas, it was timely exposed on social media the resentment that many people have over the casual “Uy, tumaba ka (Hey, you’ve gained weight)” greeting which is so common in most gatherings—if it is a Filipino thing, I honestly don’t know. Its intent may just be to start small talks but such seemingly harmless statement could easily alienate another person and cap the night off even before the party has begun.

This is when a simple “how are you?” comes appropriate to avoid that faux pas. Like what I have learned in customer service, establishing rapport is very important at the onset of a call or an interaction. It is when confidence of the other person is gained and success of the transaction is determined. It is therefore a big mistake to assume that the other party will welcome when you throw them personal questions like “Where is your wife”, “Where do you work” or “What is your job position now”. It pays to watch out for signs like body languages and facial expressions that would tell if the receiving party is just as excited to interact with you. Take the cue from there.

Later I will be attending a regular gathering, the last one before Marcus and I fly back to Manila tonight. While I know that I have packed some pounds over five days of vacation, but for fun I still wish I have that “Kayo rin po, tita, tumaba!” shirt.

Happy New Year! Hope 2015 will be a better one.

***

Mood: 2/10 Honks! (Excited to see wifey and mittens.)

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