“How are you?”
How many of you say this? I say this all the time, even though I am trying to resist and come up with more creative responses.
I recently tweeted this idea out and then my friend Brad sent me this article from HBR: Why Americans Are So Impressed by Busyness. It’s a fascinating topic because, historically, not being busy was a sign of status. It meant you had enough money to not have to do anything.
But things have changed – at least in this part of the world. (Italy doesn’t seem to feel the same way based on some studies.) Here’s a snippet from the article:
“What has changed so dramatically in one century? We think that the shift from leisure-as-status to busyness-as-status may be linked to the development of knowledge-intensive economies. In such economies, individuals who possess the human capital characteristics that employers or clients value (e.g., competence and ambition) are expected to be in high demand and short supply on the job market. Thus, by telling others that we are busy and working all the time, we are implicitly suggesting that we are sought after, which enhances our perceived status.”
So the reality is that there’s actually a good reason for always talking about how busy we are. But as Silvia Bellezza points out in her article, there are also physiological consequences to always being: “busy!”
On that note, I think I’ll go snowboarding.
“How are you?”
“Just living the dream.”