How to Answer “How Is It Going?” (48 Ways)

You’ve heard it before, maybe even said it a few times today: “How is it going?” It’s a common question, but the answer isn’t always as common.

Should you be funny or keep it simple? Maybe share some news or just move the conversation along? There’s a little bit of an art to it, so stick with me as we list down your next go-to responses for this simple question.

Table of Contents

Casual Social Encounters

“Doing well, thanks!”

It’s ideal when you’re in a generally good mood and open to either a brief exchange or a longer conversation. For instance, bumping into a neighbor while walking your dog. This reply keeps it friendly and upbeat.

“Pretty good, you?”

This reciprocal response shows interest in the other person’s well-being. It’s perfect for those moments after a workout at the gym when a fellow gym-goer tosses the casual inquiry your way.

“Can’t complain, how about you?”

Suggesting a realistic satisfaction with life’s current state, this answer implies that while everything may not be perfect, it’s good enough. This reply offers a conversational handoff to the other person, ideal for a quick chat in the office break room.

“Just the usual. You?”

When life is in its routine phase, and there’s not much new to report, this reply works. This suits everyday scenarios like answering a co-worker who you see regularly.

“Better than I deserve!”

An expression that carries a bit of humility and gratitude. This works well in scenarios where you want to convey that you feel fortunate despite life’s ups and downs. Maybe use it when an old friend checks in on you.

“So far, so good!”

Optimistic without overcommitment, this response is perfect for when you’re in the middle of something, like a project or a workday. When a colleague pokes their head into your office, this could be the go-to reply.

“Taking it one day at a time.”

For when life is a bit challenging, but you’re handling it with poise. It’s perfect, for example, when you’re working through a personal matter but still want to keep the interaction positive and non-specific.

“Good, thanks for asking!”

This is polite and considerate, indicating that you’re doing well and you appreciate the other person’s interest. Suitable for a range of encounters, say, while you’re donating at a charity event and someone familiar greets you.

“Oh, you know, same old.”

When your life hasn’t seen much change, and you’re carrying on as usual, this response fits. This could be your answer to a neighbor you chat with every now and then during a routine evening stroll.

“Everything’s going smoothly!”

A positive outlook that lets the other know that your affairs are running well. It’s great for times when you’re perhaps overseeing an event or involved in a project, and someone inquires about your welfare in the midst of it.

Professional Workplace

“I’m well, thank you. How about you?”

This cordial and traditional response conveys professionalism and a polite acknowledgment of the greeting. It’s ideal in situations where you’re interacting with a new team member or a supervisor—moments where you might prefer to maintain a formal tone.

“Productive day so far! How’s yours?”

Expressing that you’re actively engaged and making progress at work, this response is perfect when a co-worker asks you how it’s going as you’re both refilling your coffee cups in the break room. It subtly communicates your good work ethic while inviting them to share their own experiences.

“Everything is on track, thank you.”

Assuring and confident, this reply is well-suited for situations where you’re in charge of a project or task. It can reassure a project manager or a team leader inquiring about the status of your work.

“Quite busy, but it’s a good day.”

When you’re swamped but maintaining a positive attitude, this response strikes a balance between acknowledging your workload and keeping the mood upbeat. This works well when your manager does a quick check-in to see how you’re managing the workload.

“Doing well, thanks. Anything new with you?”

This friendly reply opens the door for a colleague to share updates with you, signaling your interest in their work. Great for lunchtime conversations or when mingling at company events.

“Just working away, how about yourself?”

A non-boastful way to communicate that you’re focused on your work tasks. It’s a good choice when someone pokes their head into your office or when you’re in a shared workspace and want to keep things concise but friendly.

“Good, been tackling some interesting challenges.”

When you want to share that you’re not just busy but engaged in stimulating work, use this response. It hints at a conversational opening about work specifics, suitable for a peer who might be interested in the challenges you’re facing.

“I’m making progress, thank you.”

Conveys your forward momentum without diving into specifics. It’s particularly effective when communicating with colleagues from other departments who might inquire about your work in a casual setting, like the company cafeteria.

“Keeping on top of things, thanks.”

Asserts that you’re current with your workload and managing responsibilities effectively. It’s an excellent general response to both peers and superiors who might be making a polite inquiry about your work life.

“It’s a productive day, how is yours going?”

Indicates that you’re having a successful workday and you care about your colleague’s well-being and productivity as well. It encourages mutual sharing and is especially fitting during a quick water-cooler chat.

Strangers or New Acquaintances

“I’m fine, thank you. How about you?”

This classic and polite response is always in style, especially when meeting someone for the first time. It communicates well-being and etiquette. Use it when introducing yourself to a new colleague or in chance encounters, like meeting a fellow attendee at a conference.

“Pretty standard day, thanks!”

This is ideal when you’re engaged in small talk, and there’s no significant news to share. It’s generic enough to not divulge too much yet opens the floor for the other person. Perfect for casual run-ins, like sharing an elevator ride with a new face in an office building.

“All’s well on my end, thank you.”

A reassuring and unfussy reply that is suitable when you’re at a social gathering or when an acquaintance is trying to be polite by initiating conversation but likely isn’t expecting a lengthy dialogue.

“Not too bad, thanks for asking!”

This slightly understated response is friendly and gives the impression of approachability without diving into personal details. It’s useful when making small talk with a seatmate on public transport or in a waiting room.

“I’m okay, and yourself?”

Simple and straightforward, this response is perfect when there’s a spontaneous interaction with someone—like when queuing at the shop and a fellow shopper initiates light conversation.

“It’s been a good day so far, how about you?”

When you’re having a decent day and open to positive interaction, use this response. It’s suitable for friendly banter with a new gym partner or a neighbor you’ve just run into while taking out the trash.

“Doing well, appreciate you asking.”

Conveys that you’re in a good place while also showing gratitude for the other’s interest. This response meshes well when you’re at informal community events, and someone you’ve just been introduced to makes friendly conversation.

“Good, thank you. Hope you’re well too.”

This considerate phrase works in a variety of situations, from meeting parents at a school event to a casual chat with a shop assistant. It’s warm and reciprocal and creates an opening for further kindness.

“So far so good, and you?”

When the day is unfolding without issues, and you want to keep the exchange optimistic, this is a go-to response. It is ideal for brief interactions, maybe when someone strikes up a conversation at a café or while waiting in line.

“Keeping well, thank you. You?”

It serves as a polite indication that you’re in sound health and spirits, and it also invites the other person to give their own update. It’s very fitting for brief interactions with service providers, like hairstylists or baristas.

“As good as it gets, how about you?”

This response is a little cheeky and suggests that while you’re doing the best with what you have, there isn’t anything particularly noteworthy to report. It’s ideal for casual conversation in a community setting or a laid-back social group.

Honest and In-Depth Replies

“Actually, I’ve been better. Thanks for asking.”

This response is truthful and suggests that you’re going through a tough time. It’s ideal when you’re talking with a close friend or confidant who genuinely wants to know how you are, potentially opening the door for a more meaningful conversation.

“It’s been a challenging day, but I’m pushing through.”

Perfect for when you’ve faced obstacles but still want to project resilience. Colleagues or mentors who know you well may appreciate this response as it signals perseverance despite difficulties.

“Honestly, it’s been a bit of a tough week.”

This reply is fitting when speaking with supportive peers or in environments like a group therapy session, where there’s an understanding that sharing struggles is part of the process.

“I’m going through some stuff, but I’m staying positive.”

An honest acknowledgment of a trying period paired with a hopeful outlook can be ideal when interacting with friends who are aware of your situation. It shows vulnerability yet asserts a strong mindset.

“A lot is going on, but I’m managing.”

Use this when you want to convey that life is hectic, but you’ve got things under control. This level of honesty might be suited for a friendly catch-up during lunch with a colleague or with a mentor over a coffee break.

“It’s been really great lately, thanks!”

When things are genuinely going well, and you want to share your enthusiasm, this is a perfect response. This could fit in social settings or even professional networking events when you have positive news to share, such as a promotion or a successful project.

“There have been some ups and downs.”

Life is rarely simple, and this answer expresses that. For use among friends or family, it’s a way to share that things are dynamic but manageable without getting into specifics.

“I’ve had better days, but thanks for asking.”

For days when you’re not at your best but still appreciate the inquiry. Sharing this with close colleagues or friends, who perhaps recognize you’re not quite yourself, fosters a sense of support and camaraderie.

“Life’s been full of surprises lately.”

Whether those surprises are good or bad, this answer implies a lively and eventful phase. It’s suitable for conversations with friends or colleagues who might be curious about the unexpected turns your life is taking.

“Going through a rough patch, but I’m hopeful.”

It indicates that despite current struggles, you’re maintaining an optimistic outlook. This response can forge connections with those who can offer support or may have gone through similar experiences.

Humorous and Light-hearted Replies

“Rockin’ it as always!”

This response oozes confidence and fun. It’s perfect for when you’re feeling good and want to spread that energy, say, on a Friday afternoon in the office or when meeting friends for a casual outing.

“I’ve had a cup of coffee, so pretty fantastic!”

When caffeine has successfully done its job, and you’re feeling the buzz, this is the way to go. It’s a universal sentiment that can be shared with coworkers on a morning break or with a fellow coffee shop patron.

“Livin’ the dream, one nightmare at a time!”

A tongue-in-cheek reply that suggests you’re taking life’s ups and downs with a sense of humor. It’s a light-hearted way to bond with peers in laid-back settings or even to bring a touch of humor to a stressful workday.

“I’m a few fries short of a Happy Meal, but who isn’t?”

A comical way to say you’re not quite perfect, but you’re okay with it. Ideal for a familiar company that won’t take you too seriously—maybe at a friend’s barbecue or a casual reunion.

“Riding the struggle bus, but I’ve got a window seat!”

This response pokes fun at difficulties while keeping an optimistic edge. It can bring a laugh in various informal situations, like team-building events or with friends who appreciate your wry sense of humor.

“Currently running on caffeine and wishful thinking.”

When times are hectic and you’re powering through, this response captures the blend of stress and hope. It’s particularly relatable in work environments where coffee is as vital as oxygen.

“On cloud nine… out of ten!”

Ending on a high note, this playfully suggests that things are going well without quite hitting perfection—a great mix of positivity and humor for moments of shared optimism, such as celebrating a success with your team.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it rude not to answer the question “How is it going?” when asked?

Generally, it’s considered polite to respond when someone asks, “How is it going?” Ignoring the question can be seen as rude. A simple acknowledgment or brief response is sufficient if you’re not in the mood for a longer conversation.

Should I always be honest when replying to “How is it going?”

While honesty is usually the best policy, the level of honesty depends on the context and your relationship with the person. In casual social encounters, it’s typical to keep the answer light and positive, even if you’re not having the best day.

How can I politely end a conversation after answering “How is it going?”

After giving your response, you can close with something like, “I’m actually in a bit of a hurry now, but it was great seeing you!” This lets the other person know that you have to leave without seeming dismissive.

Final Thoughts

Let’s keep it real—“How is it going?” is a simple question that doesn’t need a complicated answer. But it’s a chance to connect, even if it’s just for a minute. It’s a chance to share a bit of your life or just show you care. 

So go ahead and mix it up. Be sincere, be funny, or just be you. It’s these small talks that add a little warmth to our daily lives.

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Clariza is a passionate writer and editor who firmly believes that words have great power. She has a degree in BS Psychology, which gives her an in-depth understanding of the complexities of human behavior. As a woman of science and art, she fused her love for both fields in crafting insightful articles on lifestyle, mental health, and social justice to inspire others and advocate for change. In her leisure time, you can find her sitting in the corner of her favorite coffee shop downtown, deeply immersed in her bubble of thoughts. Being an art enthusiast that she is, she finds bliss in exploring the rich world of fiction writing and diverse art forms.