I think perhaps the most cruel way to greet a person is to say "How are you doing?" No one really wants the real answer. They want the response "Fine thank you. And you?" What if you answered "well since you asked I’m not really doing so hot. I’m trying to be a hero to my kids and teach them right from wrong along with good manners but every time I turn around I’m be kidney punched and my self-confidence is shot. Seems like everytime I start to feel good about myself some smug sob comes along to yank the carpet out from under me. We are really lucky to be keeping food on the table. So, how’s things with you?"
Whenever someone I know is a psychologist or psychiatrist asks the "how are you?" question I grin and want to laugh because they don’t really mean it. So I respond "is that a personal or professional question?"
So I vowed to myself to work hard at removing "How are you?" type greetings from my vocabulary. Instead I choose to use more positive greetings such as "Good to see you!" or "You look great!" or even simply "Hello." Of course moments after I made this vow in my head I bumped into someone and I spouted out, "How you doing?"