The best answers to the question “How have you been?”

When we meet friends, acquaintances, neighbors, and others, we rely on social cues and conventions in order to act appropriately. We quickly weigh present circumstances, past history, the setting, time constraints, and other factors to respond when asked, “How have you been?”. So what’s the best how have you been answer?

Meaning of “How have you been?”

This question uses the perfect present tense which is a combination between past and present tense, meaning from a particular time in the past up to now. It is a quite different question than “How are you?”, which is a present tense question, asking about how you are doing right now.

The question “How have you been?”, is used when you haven’t seen someone in a long time. It also applies when you haven’t s been in contact by phone, video chat, emailing, or texting. You are asking how the person’s life has been since your last meeting, and up to the present. It could also mean how have you been since a particular event such as getting married, changing jobs, or having a baby.

How Have You Been Answers Explained:

If we know the person well and are friendly, we probably will talk a little longer than if we meet a casual acquaintance. If we are waiting in a long checkout line, we might have time to catch up. On the other hand, if we’re passing each other on a city sidewalk, we might just wave, smile, and say a quick hello. A chance encounter with an old college friend would probably warrant spending some time, if it’s possible. Naturally, the opposite is true if you run into the person often or if one or both of you is in a rush.

With the question, “How have you been?”, these factors weigh into using a short answer, a long, detailed answer, or something in the middle. The tone of the response could be personal, polite, sarcastic, funny, etc., and also depends on these factors.

It takes good instincts and social skills to strike the right balance.

How Have You Been Answer Examples (Short):

Never felt better

Not bad


I’m o.k.

I’m alright.

So So

Not too bad (meaning varies by tone of voice)

So far, so good!

Better than I deserve!

Same old, same old

Going With the Flow

Never felt better!

Pretty good


Could be better

Could be worse

Never better

Not too bad

Just the usual

Busy, busy



Much better

Can’t complain

I’m surviving.

On the upswing

Alive and kickin’

Living a dream

As usual


Crazy lately


Good actually

Don’t ask!


All good



It’s tough

Trying to stay positive

Things are looking up

Just the usual stress



Stressed out!

Working hard

Still kicking

It’s been a tough week.

I’m a new woman.

I’m snowed under.

I’m struggling a bit.

I’m not going to lie.

Not doing so well.

How Have You Been? Answer Examples (Long):

If I had a tail, I’d wag it.

I got a promotion at work so I’m very busy, but I like my new position a lot.

I’ve had a lot of time to spend on my artwork lately which I’m enjoying.

My boss is driving me crazy.

Work’s keeping me busy lately.

You don’t want to know!

I’ve been traveling a lot since last summer.

Word on the street is I’m pretty good!

Not getting enough sleep since the baby was born.

Been going crazy studying for the bar exam.

I’m volunteering a couple days a week, and I love it.

I’m great, but I’m totally biased!

Better now that I’m talking to you.

OK now, but there’s still time for terrible.

Finally got into a good workout routine. I feel less stressed out.

My new boss is a lot easier to work with so I’m a lot more relaxed.

We moved out of state right after I saw you last so we’re still adjusting.

My wife had a car accident since we talked last, but she’s doing a lot better now.

We’re still adjusting to being empty-nesters since our youngest left for college last August.

The family is doing really well. We’re planning a trip to Europe in the Fall. I’m really excited about it.

“How have you been since… ?” Sample Questions:

This question asks how the person has been since a certain event or particular time:

How have you been since you moved to Colorado?

How have you been since your father passed away?

How have you been since you lost your job?

How have you been since you moved to the new house?

How have you been since your divorce?

How have you been since you started your new position?

How have you been since you got married?

How have you been since the baby was born?

How have you been since your accident?

How have you been since you sold your business?

How have you been since you retired?

How have you been since you graduated?

“How have you been since…?” Short Answers:

Love Colorado!

I miss him.

Found a better job!

Love the house!

Work’s busy, but good.

We’re doing great!

Busy with the baby

Good as new

More relaxed

Enjoying my boat!

Busy job hunting!

“How have you been since…?” Long Answers:

Colorado is great. Love the mountains!

I’ve been depressed since my dad died, but I’m starting to feel better.

I got a new job back in January, and I really like it a lot.

It’s great. More space for the kids to run around.

I’m starting to date, and it’s going pretty well.

Working long hours, but I love the new company.

We’re enjoying being married now that all the wedding stress is over.

The baby has us up at night, but she’s adorable.

I had to go for physical therapy, but I feel great now.

Since I sold the business, I have lots of time for myself and my family.

I’m enjoying retirement. I have lots of time to fish and work on my hobbies.

I’m keeping busy looking for an entry-level job in my field.

Hope you have found this information useful and have picked out your very own favorite how have you been answer!