How to Answer “How Is It Going?” (41 Ways)

This is a question we ask ourselves every day, but what does it mean?

How do you answer this question and how can you use it to your advantage?

In this post, we’ll go over the different ways you can answer this and when you should use it.

We’ll also give you some tips on how to use this question to start a conversation with someone.

Make It a Question. You Can Say Something Like, “I’m Doing Okay, How About You?”

One way to make a conversation more equitable is to answer the question with a question of your own.

For example, you could say, “I’m doing okay, how about you?” This way, the other person also has a chance to say how he or she is doing, and the conversation can flow more evenly.

Of course, there are situations when it’s not appropriate to ask a question in response to another question.

For example, if someone asks you how your day went and you realize they’re not interested at all, it’s probably best to just briefly tell them how you’re doing and then move on.

If you make a habit of answering questions with questions, it can help create a more balanced conversation. So the next time someone asks you how is it going, try to answer the question both ways!

In a Job Interview, Keep It Brief

In a job interview, keep it brief and make sure your answer reflects well on you professionally.

This question is often used as an icebreaker, but your answer gives the interviewer a first impression of you and how you would conduct yourself in the workplace.

Therefore, your answer must give a good impression of you. A good way to do this is to keep your answer short and to the point.

For example, you could say, “I’m fine, thank you. I’m excited to learn more about this company and how I can contribute to its success.

By keeping your answer brief, you show that you can communicate effectively and efficiently.

This reflects well on you and shows that you’re able to communicate clearly and concisely – an important skill for any workplace.

Use a Short Phrase Such As, “ It’s Going Well.”

In everyday conversations, we are often asked how we are doing. This is common courtesy, usually requiring no more than a short answer.

But sometimes people want to know more than just how we’re doing.

They want to know how our day is going, how our week was, and what our month looks like. When that happens, it can be tempting to give a long, detailed answer.

But sometimes the best answer is the shortest.

This phrase covers a lot in just a few words. It lets the other person know we’re doing well without going into too much detail.

It’s polite and friendly but doesn’t take up too much of the other person’s time or attention.

In short, it’s the perfect way to answer the question when we don’t want to go into detail.

Of course, there are moments when a more detailed answer is warranted. But in general, it’s best to keep our answers short and to the point.

Because sometimes the simplest answer is the best one.

Give a Brief Overview of What’s Happened in Your Life

If you’re not sure how to answer, the safest thing to do is to briefly tell them what’s been happening in your life.

This way you can satisfy their curiosity without going into too much detail.

So how do you briefly tell what happened in your life? Start by mentioning the most important or interesting things that have happened recently.

You can talk about work, family, friends, hobbies, travel, or other things that have been on your mind.

Try to keep your answer to under two minutes – that way the conversation can still flow naturally.

And if the other person doesn’t seem interested, feel free to change the subject.

Briefly sharing what’s been going on in your life is a good answer. This way you can share personal information without getting too personal or telling too much.

Bring up a Topic You’re Passionate About

If you have a passion for something, this is a great opportunity to bring up the subject and share your enthusiasm.

Not only can you talk about something you’re passionate about, but you can also show your counterpart that you’re interested in more than just small talk.

To make the most of this opportunity, it’s important to be prepared.

First, think about a few topics that interest you. This can be anything from a hobby or interest to a cause or topic that’s close to your heart.

Once you have a few ideas in mind, you can practice talking about them in a way that’s both interesting and engaging.

When the time comes, just bring up one of your topics and start talking.

Remember to respect the other person’s time and attention, but don’t be afraid to show your passion.

With a little preparation and practice, you can turn any conversation into an opportunity to share your interests and connect with others.

Share a Funny Story

If you want to add a little more life to your conversation, you can tell a funny story instead.

This is a great way to find out how things are going.

When you tell a funny story, you not only make the person you’re talking to laugh, but you also open yourself up.

You’re showing that you’re human and that you have a sense of humor.

People are drawn to others who can make them laugh, so telling a funny story is a great way to show how it goes.

Of course, not every story is hilarious. But even a mildly amusing anecdote can show how things are going.

So the next time someone asks you how things are going, don’t just give the standard answer.

Instead, tell a funny story and you’ll see how much better the conversation goes.

Everything Is Clicking Into Place

If everything in your life is going well, you can use this phrase. With this, you can signal that you’re doing well and everything is going according to plan.

It’s a positive answer that radiates confidence and optimism.

However, you should only use this phrase if it’s true. If things aren’t clicking into place, this statement can come across as insincere or even arrogant.

Also, this phrase should only be used in casual conversations. In more formal or professional situations, it’s better to give a detailed overview of how things are going.

By using this phrase, you express that you’re satisfied with how things are going in your life.

“I’m Not Doing So Great.” or “So-So.”

Both expressions express that you aren’t at your best, but they can have different meanings.

I’m not doing so great” usually means you’re having a bad day or that something is wrong.

So-so,” on the other hand, means you’re feeling good but nothing special happened.

No matter what wording you choose: if the person you’re communicating with shows interest, you should follow up with a more detailed explanation.

After all, the point of this question is to start a conversation.

Answer Honestly – This Shows That You’re Genuine and Sincere

In today’s fast-paced and competitive world, it’s easy to get caught up in trying to put your best foot forward.

We want to be seen as successful, competent, and well-organized. So when someone asks us how is it going, it’s tempting to give the succinct answer, “I’m fine, thank you.”

But how often are we actually “fine” in the conventional sense of the word? Most of the time, we’re just getting by.

Or we’re struggling with something, but we don’t want to burden others with our problems. So we put on a brave face and pretend that everything is fine.

While there’s nothing wrong with putting on a positive facade sometimes, we must be honest when dealing with others.

When we respond honestly, it shows that we’re genuine and authentic. This allows others to see us as complex human beings rather than one-dimensional beings who are always “good.”

And in some cases, it can even help us build deeper relationships with others.

Imagine how much closer you’d feel to a close friend or family member if they told you about their problems.

Honest answers can also help those around us feel more comfortable opening up to us.

Acknowledge That Life Is Hard Sometimes and Say, “It’s Been a Rough Couple of Weeks/Months.”

These days, many people are expected to respond with a glowing report when asked how is it going.

It’s part of the mentality of “fake it till you make it” and “look on the bright side.”

And while that’s not a bad thing in itself, it’s important to acknowledge that sometimes life is hard.

Just because things aren’t going perfectly doesn’t mean you have to pretend that everything is perfect.

It can be very liberating to admit to yourself that things are hard right now.

It takes the pressure off of always having to put on a happy face, and can help you feel connected to others who may be going through similar issues.

Say “I’m Taking It One Day at a Time”

This phrase communicates that you’re coping, but that each day is a challenge.

It shows that you are still struggling and opens the possibility of compassion or support for the person who asked the question.

But it also expresses hope and resilience.

By saying “I’m taking it one day at a time,” you are showing that you are facing your challenges, even when they seem insurmountable.

Sum up How You’re Feeling With a Song Lyric, a Quote, or a Poem

We’re often asked this question, and sometimes it’s hard to answer truthfully.

Maybe you’re feeling good and want to share that with the world.

Or maybe you’re having a rough day and don’t want to burden anyone with your problems.

In either case, a song lyric, quote, or poem can be a good way to answer the question without getting too personal.

For example, if you’re feeling happy, you could say something like “Everything is awesome!” from The Lego Movie.

If you’re sad, you could quote “Someone Like You” by Adele and say, “Never mind, I’ll find someone like you.

And if you’re feeling frustrated, you could quote Maya Angelou’s “Still I Rise” and say, “I rise. I’m not scared to fall.

Whatever song lyric, quote, or poem you choose, make sure it truly reflects how you feel inside. An honest answer is always the best answer.

Get Philosophical and Say “It Is What It Is”

This phrase can be used in two different ways as an answer to the question.

First, it can be used to simply acknowledge the fact that life happens and we have to deal with whatever comes our way.

Second, it can be used to say that we don’t dwell on the negative aspects of the day or of life, but instead focus on the positive.

Here are some examples of how you can use this phrase:

  • “I’m having a rough day, but it is what it is.” This shows that you aren’t dwelling on the negative aspects of your day.
  • “I don’t know how to solve this problem, but it is what it is.” This shows you accept the situation and move on.
  • “Life is full of ups and downs, but it is what it is.”

This shows that you accept life as it is and don’t get too lost in the negative moments.

Get Existential and Say, “Life Is a Mystery.”

If you’re looking for a more interesting answer, you should try to become existential.

By saying, “Life is a mystery,” you can show that you’re a deep thinker who isn’t afraid to ponder the big questions.

And it’s a great conversation starter, too! If you respond with this phrase, they’ll probably ask you what you mean by that.

And then you can engage in a philosophical discussion about the meaning of life!

So the next time someone asks you how you’re doing, don’t be afraid to get existential. Who knows?

You might end up having some fascinating conversations about life, the universe, and everything.

Bring Up Something You’ve Seen on Social Media

For example, you could say, “I saw on Facebook that you just got a new job. Congratulations! How are you?” or “I saw on Instagram that you just took a great trip. How was it?

By bringing up something you saw on social media, you can give the person an opportunity to talk about something they are interested in or proud of.

Plus, this approach can help keep the conversation flowing and avoid awkward silences.

“Kind of Blah. I Wish It Was Friday Already. How About You?” 

This answer shows that you’re not feeling very well, but you’re not in a bad mood either.

If you say that you wish it were Friday already, it shows that you’re looking forward to the week finally being over and being able to have some fun.

If you ask the other person how they’re doing, it shows that you care about their well-being.

Generally, answering “kind of blah” is a way to honestly say how you feel without being too negative.

It’s also a way to build rapport with the person you’re talking to, because they’re probably feeling ready for the weekend, too.

So the next time someone asks you how you’re doing, try this answer and see how your counterpart reacts.

“Stressed but Staying Positive! What About You?”

When you feel stressed, you may not want to burden your counterpart with your problems.

At the same time, you don’t want to give the impression that you can’t handle it.

A good way to strike a balance is to respond with this phrase.

This phrase expresses that you’re facing some challenges right now, but you’re staying upbeat and keeping your head up.

It also gives the other person the opportunity to ask how they can help or support you.

Get Cheesy and Say “Our Conversation Is the Best Part of My Day”

Not only is this phrase a great conversation starter, but it also shows that you’re interested in talking to the other person.

Plus, it’s a great way to make someone smile.

Of course, as with everything, there are a few things to keep in mind with this phrase.

First, you should only use it with people you enjoy talking to. If you say it to someone you don’t really like, it comes across as insincere.

Second, avoid saying this phrase too often. If you say it every time someone asks you how you’re, it’ll lose its impact.

Third, don’t say this phrase unless you’re really happy about the conversation. If you say it only because you feel you’ve to say it, it’ll seem forced and phony.

If you use this phrase sparingly and sincerely, it can be a good way to show someone that you enjoy talking to him/her. 

“I’m Living the Dream!”

One interpretation of this phrase is that it means you’re doing exactly what you want to do in life.

You’re following your dreams and pursuing your passions.

For a job seeker, that means working at their dream job. For others, it may mean traveling the world or starting their own business.

Another interpretation of the phrase is that you’re content with your life as it is.

You may not be pursuing any particular dreams, but you’re content with what you have.

You have a roof over your head, food on the table, and people who love you. And that’s all you need to be happy! 

So the next time someone asks you how you’re doing, you can give him/her a positive, optimistic answer by saying, “I’m living my dream!”

Whether you’re just living your dreams or just enjoying a simple, content life, it’s a great way to show others that you’re happy and doing well.

“I’m Taking It One Day at a Time!”

This phrase can convey many different messages depending on how you say it and the context in which you say it.

For example, you can use it to express that you’re taking things slowly and carefully, or that you’re feeling overwhelmed and just want to focus on getting through each day.

In some cases, saying this phrase can be a way to deflect the question and show that you don’t want to talk about how you’re doing.

However, it can also be a sincere or proper response from someone who’s trying to stay positive in the face of difficulty.

Ultimately, the meaning of this phrase depends on the person saying it and the context in which it is said.

“I’m Really Happy. I Just Got a Promotion at Work and My Family Is Doing Well. How About You?”

When someone asks you how you’re doing, they usually want a brief account of your life and circumstances.

However, there are times when you want to tell more than just the gist.

For example, maybe you had a great day and want to share that with the other person.

In this case, you might use this phrase. This response gives the other person an overview of your current situation and how you’re feeling while showing that you care about their life.

It’s also a great way to start a conversation and get to know someone better.

So the next time someone asks you how you’re doing, don’t be afraid to tell them a little more than usual.

It Can Be as Simple as “I’m Hanging in There.”  

This phrase shows that you are managing, even when things are hard.

It shows you’re not giving up, and it can be a gentle way to let others know you could use support.

At the same time, it doesn’t overload the conversation with negativity or put pressure on the other person to solve your problems.

If you want to give a more detailed update, you can use a statement like, “I’ve been better, but I’m managing. Thanks for asking.”

If you’re honest and focus on how you feel, you can open the conversation without embarrassing anyone.

“Thanks for Asking. It Has Been a Good Week.”

If you’re one of those people who like to take a moment to reflect on their week before responding, you might say something like this.

This response shows that you are grateful that the person is interested in you and that you took the time to reflect on your week.

It shows that you’re thinking and that you value quality over quantity.

“I’m Doing Well. I’ll Tell You About It Next Time We Get Coffee.”

When someone asks you how is it going, it can be tempting to give a short, glib answer.

However, if you take the time to respond thoughtfully, you can use this simple exchange as an opportunity to build rapport and connect.

This response shows that you’re interested in sharing your news with the other person, and also allows you to set up a follow-up conversation.

Besides, who doesn’t love coffee? By taking a few extra seconds to formulate a response, you can turn a casual question into a chance to connect with someone on a deeper level.

Ask About Their Life, Too

One way to show interest in a person and make them feel valued is to ask about their life.

The next time someone asks you how you are, don’t just give a superficial answer but take the opportunity to ask about the other person’s life as well.

This shows that you’re interested in her or him and want to know what’s going on in her or his world.

It also shows that you aren’t just focused on your own life and problems, but are willing to take the time to listen to others.

Asking about a person’s life is a small but meaningful way to connect with them and make them feel seen and heard.

So the next time you’re asked how you’re doing, take the opportunity to ask about someone else’s life, too. Maybe it’ll brighten their day.

Say “Not Too Bad” or “Not Too Shabby”

If you want to sound more upbeat and positive, you can also say “not too bad” or “not too shabby.”

These two phrases are relatively informal, so they are perfect for casual conversations.

With “not too bad,” you can show that you are doing well without being overly enthusiastic.

It’s also a fairly neutral phrase that can be used in many different situations.

For example, you could say it to a friend you haven’t seen in a while, or to a colleague you don’t know that well.

If you want to sound a little more upbeat, you could say “not too shabby.”

This phrase suggests that things are going better than expected and that you’re generally satisfied with life.

Joke Around and Say, “It’s Going Swimmingly!” or “Sinking Fast!”

If you’re feeling particularly funny, you can also joke and say, “It’s going swimmingly! or “Sinking fast!”. 

It’s going swimmingly means things are going very well and sinking fast means things are going very badly.

Of course, there’s a good time and place for this kind of humor.

If you’re in a professional setting, or if the person asking you how you’re doing doesn’t seem like they would appreciate a joke, it’s best to stick with a more traditional answer.

However, if you’re among friends or family, feel free to joke about your answer. Who knows – you may have made their day!

Ask Them if They’ve Tried a New Restaurant or Café You’ve Been Meaning to Go To

This way you show that you’re interested in trying something new, and it’s also a great conversation starter.

If the person you’re talking to hasn’t been to the restaurant or cafe you’re talking about, they’re probably interested in learning more about it.

And if they’ve already been there, you can ask them how they liked it and if they’d recommend it.

Either way, it’s a great way to get a conversation going and learn more about what the other person likes.

“It’s Going Well, Thanks!” Is the Go-to Response Among Native English Speakers When Someone Asks How It’s Going

The reason this answer is used so often is that it is both polite and vague.

It is polite because you are thanking the person for inquiring about your well-being.

And it is vague because you are not giving too much information about how you are doing.

This is often considered the best way to answer this question because it requires little effort and can be interpreted in several ways.

For example, if you are having a bad day, you can still answer with “I’m doing well, thank you.”

But if you want to give a more detailed answer, you can say something like, “I’m doing good, thanks for asking. I’m just really busy right now.”

By answering in more detail, you give the person more information about how you are doing.

Whether you want to be brief or give more information, this phrase is the standard response from a native English speaker or in American English when someone asks how you are.

“Just Peachy!”

This response is a versatile answer that can be used in a variety of situations.

Whether you’re having a great day or a not-so-great day, you can use this to show the person you’re doing well.

If you’re feeling especially happy or excited, this is an enthusiastic way to show it.

On the other hand, if you’re feeling tired or stressed, you can use a sarcastic tone to express your frustration, “Just peachy!”.

Either way, “Just peachy!” is a lighthearted way to answer the question and can be a good icebreaker for a conversation.

So the next time someone asks you how you’re doing, try this phrase and see how it goes!

“It’s Been a Rollercoaster Ride, That’s for Sure!”

For most people, life is a mix of ups and downs.

We have good days and bad days, times when things go our way, and times when they don’t.

It can be difficult to keep up with the constant changes, and that’s where the phrase “roller coaster ride” comes in.

When we say that life is a roller coaster ride, we’re referring to the fact that it’s constantly changing and it’s sometimes hard to predict what will happen next.

It can be exciting and thrilling, but also frustrating and exhausting. But even though it’s not always easy, we wouldn’t trade it for anything else.

So the next time someone asks you how it’s going, don’t be afraid, to tell the truth.

It’s a great way to sum up life’s ups and downs and shows that you’re still hanging in there.

You May Need to Adjust Your Response Depending on the Situation

For example, if you’re attending a formal event, such as a job interview or meeting with your boss, you should answer politely and professionally.

On the other hand, if you’re meeting with a friend, you can make your answer a little more casual.

If you’re having a bad day, you may not want to share all the details about what’s going on either.

Instead, you could just say that you’re fine. How you answer this question ultimately depends on the context and who you’re talking to.

By considering your environment and the person you’re talking to, you can make sure your answer is appropriate to the situation.

If You’re in an Interview, You Can Focus on How Well the Process Is Going

In an interview question, it is often unclear how to respond to the question “How is it going?” without sounding too negative or too presumptuous.

By focusing on how well the process is going, you can give a positive answer without sounding overconfident.

This shows your interviewer that you’re committed to the process and optimistic about the outcome.

Also, this answer shows that you can stay focused and positive under pressure.

It is important to remember that an interview is a two-way conversation and that your interviewer wants to get to know you as much as you want to get to know the company.

By focusing on how well the process is going, you can make a good impression and build rapport with your interviewer/interviewers.

“What’s Up?”

You might say “What’s up?” to your friends when you’ve heard the exciting news.

Or if you just saw something unexpected, you can also use the phrase as an exclamation.

On the other hand, if you’re not having a good day, “What’s up?” can also be a sarcastic comment on your situation.

So in many ways, this phrase is a versatile phrase that can be used in many different situations.

So the next time someone asks you how you’re doing, don’t be afraid to vary things up and give an interesting answer!

“Things Are Going Well, Thanks! And You?”

Taking a moment to think about how the person you are communicating with is doing can be a valuable way to connect with others.

When you respond with something like this, you’re showing that you are doing well, but also that you’re interested in how the other person is doing.

This simple exchange can help create a more meaningful connection with the people in your life.

Taking the time to stop and think about how he/she is doing can also help you appreciate the good moments in your life.

When things are going well, it can be easy to take those good moments for granted.

But if you take the time to acknowledge the good moments, you can feel more gratitude and joy.

So the next time someone asks you how is it going, take a moment to think about your answer.

You’ll be surprised how much more connected and present it makes you feel.

“It’s Been a Pretty Tough Week … But I’m Glad It’s Almost Over. How Has Your Week Been?”

Just be honest about how you feel and what you’ve been doing.

If you had a tough week, it’s okay to say so! Just focus on the positives of your week (like the fact that it’s almost over) and try to keep things in perspective.

Answering this question honestly shows that you’re comfortable talking about your feelings and experiences and that you’re able to keep a positive outlook despite difficult circumstances.

So go ahead and tell your friends how your week went – your friends and family will appreciate your honesty.

“I’m Blessed, I Can’t Complain! What About You?”

This response conveys several things.

First, it shows that the person is grateful for what they have.

They may not be perfect, but they are aware of how good they have it compared to others.

Second, it shows that the person is happy with their current situation.

They may have problems and challenges, but they are not dwelling on them or letting them get them down.

Finally, it shows that the person is interested in learning how the other person is doing.

They don’t just want to talk about themselves but are genuinely interested in sharing with the other person.

Therefore, this response can be a great way to start a conversation and build a connection with someone.

“Well, Things Are a Little Crazy at Work Right Now, but Otherwise I’m Doing Great. How About Yourself?”

This response gives the person asking the question some information about how you’re doing without going into too much detail.

It also shows that you’re able to juggle several things at once and manage stress well.

Remember that this answer isn’t appropriate in every situation.

For example, if you’re unemployed or not working right now, it may not be appropriate to talk about how crazy things are at work.

“Overall, It’s Going Well. Right Now I’m Working On…”

This response gives the person just enough information.

It lets them know that you’re generally doing well but also allows them to ask more questions if they want to know more about what you’re working on. 

For example, let’s say you’re working on starting your own business.

You might say, “Overall, things are going well. Right now, I’m working on getting my business off the ground.” 

That would pique the interest of those who hear it, and they’d probably want to ask you more questions about your business.

Questions like, “What kind of business is it?” or “How is it doing?”

“Not So Good, to Be Honest. Can I Tell You About That?”

If the person asking you how you’re doing is someone who cares about you, they’ll probably want to listen and support you.

If the person asking you how you’re a casual acquaintance, they may not expect such a personal response and may feel uncomfortable or awkward.

In either case, it’s important to respect the other person’s feelings and give them the option to listen or not.

If they want to listen, keep your explanation brief and don’t complain or vent too much.

Just state the facts of what’s going on and how it’s affecting you.

Finally, be prepared to talk about what you’ll do to improve the situation.

This shows that you’re taking responsibility for your happiness and looking for ways to make things better.

“Searching for the Silver Lining.”

When someone asks you how you’re doing and you respond with this, what are you saying?

In short, you’re saying that things could be better, but you’re trying to find the positive in the situation. But what does that mean in practice?

At its core, “finding the silver lining” is about finding hope in difficult times.

It’s about admitting that things may not be going well right now, but not giving up.

It’s a way of looking at the world that says, “Even when things are difficult, there’s always something good to focus on.

In practice, the “look for the silver lining” answer to how things are going can mean a lot of different things.

Maybe you’re dealing with a personal challenge or setback, but you choose to stay positive.

Maybe you’re going through a rough patch in your life, but you’re determined to keep going. Or you just had a bad day, but you try to look on the bright side.

Whatever your situation, when you look for the silver lining, you take an active role in your happiness.

You choose to focus on the positive even when things are difficult, and that’s a strength we all admire.

Why Do People Ask “How Is It Going?”

It’s a question we hear all the time, whether we’re getting our morning coffee or chatting with an old friend.

But why do people ask “How are you?” in the first place? And how should you answer?

There are several theories about the origin of the phrase.

One common theory is that it’s derived from an old English expression, “How are you?”

Another possibility is that it’s a shortened version of “How do you do?” which used to be a common greeting.

Regardless of where the phrase originated, it has become commonplace in our society.

Generally, they’re just trying to make small talk. It’s a way to start a conversation with someone without getting too personal.

In some cases, people are interested in how you’re doing, but in most cases, they just want to say something.

How Can You End a Conversation That Starts With “How Is It Going?”

Often, we find ourselves in conversations that start with this simple question.

While the answer is typically “Fine, thanks,” or “Good, how are you?”, there are times when we may want to end the conversation.

Maybe we’re not feeling well, or maybe we’re just not in the mood to talk.

There are seven ways to end a conversation that starts with “How is it going?”.

  • You can say that you need to meet with someone or that you need to get back to work.
  • You can say that you’re tired.
  • You can also say that you need to go to the bathroom.
  • Saying goodbye or good night is also a way to end the conversation.
  • You can say that you’ll talk to the person later.
  • Another way to end the conversation is to say that you have to make a phone call.
  • You can say that it was nice talking to the person and thank them for their time.


We’ve looked at a few different ways to answer the question.

You can use your current situation, what you did yesterday, how you feel today, or what your goals are.

Whichever way you choose to answer this question, make sure that it’s genuine and honest.

Asking someone “How is it going?” should be seen as an opportunity for connection and conversation, so take the time to listen to the other person’s response and engage in the discussion.

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