Too often people ask “How are you?” not because they really want to know how you’re doing, but because it’s become a normative greeting in our society. Because of this, we’ve conditioned ourselves to provide superficial answers when people ask how we’re doing. We’ve grown used to ask about people’s feelings without empathy and hiding the truth about how we truly feel because we assume no one really wants to know. That automatism isn’t good for anyone.
I make a point never to ask “How are you?” unless I truly care and have time to hear an honest answer. I also maintain eye contact with them after asking to make sure they understand I’m not just throwing the question out there without meaning.