Social skills for autonomous people: Non-literal greetings



In the US, certain things are ritual greetings that follow a standard script. Deviating from it is considered a bit weird (but it’s also common, and possible to get away with. I deviate from it often).

“How are you?” is not usually intended as a real…

A lot of time the answer to what’s up, is what’s up. You don’t even answer, you just ask the question back.

Oh yeah, I forgot that sometimes you don’t even answer. I remember when that started to be the case - it really weirded me out.

But yes, sometimes the expected answer is just “What’s up" back. Does it bother people when you answer “not much, you?“ and they’re expecting “what’s up?” repeated?


Is “Watcha doin’?“ a variation of “What’s up?” Because when I’ve been asked “Watcha doin’?“ by people coming up to me I’ve responded with “Talking to you,” which was Not Right judging by their reactions. Now, I respond with “reading/listening to music/whatever I was doing,“ but is that wrong too? 

I think it’s a bit different. I think "watcha doin’?” tends to mean something like this:

  • I would like to interact with you
  • You seem to be doing a thing
  • Can you tell me what the thing is?
  • Maybe that will proving an opening for conversation
  • Or for you to include me in the thing.
  • Let’s interact now?

“Watcha doin’” can be invasive, because sometimes it doesn’t take into account the possibility that someone might be busy and not want to interact. But sometimes it just means “Are you doing an interruptible thing? Can you tell me about it so we can figure out how to interact?”