When I was in Junior High School, in English class, I remember that when I start to learn English, I have to start it from basic level. And it’s named basic in English is greeting section. We learn about how to accost the other people is in our life everyday. Starting from ask “Good morning, good afternoon, etc.”
The thing that I haven’t understood yet until now is greeting “How are you?”. Why? Because when my teacher said “How are you?” to all of student in class, its must (always) be the answer is “I’m fine”. And then continued by greeting “I’m fine, thank you. And you?”. So, it’s like the procedure to answer greeting question “How are you?”
Different from greeting “How do you do?”, the answer must be “How do you do” too. That’s the procedure. However, the answer “I’m fine, thank you. And you?” isn’t answer procedure of the question “How are you?”. Whether teacher—without aware—has educated us with compulsion? So, as if there’s no answer except “I’m fine, thank you. And you?”
Whereas, student or people who answered question “How are you?” with “I’m fine” doesn’t always be in healthy condition. Either in healthy or sick, student supposed that the answer of “How are you?” is “I’m fine, thank you. And you?”. There’s no other suitable answer. That’s habit brought until now. I usually (reflex) answer “I’m fine, thank you. And you?” if there’s someone ask to me with the question: “How are you?”
Finally, I wanna ask to you, “How are you today?” I hope your answer is suitable with your condition now.