It’s time to give the last rites to the benign standard ‘how are you?’.

The lines are blurred now as to whether ’How are you?’ is merely a greeting or a question beckoning a response, it’s just far too common to be taken sincerely.

People are constantly tossing around the opener without a back-up to get the conversation rolling.

What are some alternatives you can try instead?

Asking “What has been the highlight of your day?” invites more of a response, and creates a tangible focus for the question.

If you bump into a friend, you need something irregular but tangible to engage a response, otherwise people phone in their response – “I’m OK, how are you?”

The appeal of an alternative opener compared to the redundant ‘how are you?’ is that these questions are clearly inviting a genuine response, and they’ll get new answers week in week out.

Asking ‘what have you learnt this week?’ is a great way to not only recall something interesting but also to learn something new too.

Other options could include ''what are you thankful for today?', 'what have you achieved today?', 'what are you reading at the moment', or 'what have you been listening to lately?'.

If you opt for non-questions, you’ll get non-answers in your non-conversation and end up in a non-relationship.

It may be the most commonly asked question, ‘How are you?’, but few care about the answer, making it a dead opener.

Conversations have a tendency to snowball once they get off to a start that has real merit, which is why people need to try alternatives.

Awkward Silence are making friendships come alive each day with their engaging conversation starters. How are you?

Let’s Talk.