How to Respond to Greetings: The 43 Best Ways

Man and woman greeting one another with a handshake

You only get one chance at a first impression, so you want to be sure to get it right. A proper greeting can have a huge impact on your relationships in the workforce, as well as forming new friendships.[1]

A simple greeting allows us to feel a connection to others. This can be especially comforting to those who are in a new place among new people.[2]

Receiving a greeting can even reduce feelings of rejection many feel on a day-to-day basis and help to brighten their day.[2]

A warm smile and maintaining good eye contact are great places to start when deciding how to respond to a greeting. This signals inclusion and interest in sharing a conversation with the other person.[3]

Whether it’s regarding a new friend, a co-worker, a potential business associate, or another contact, you’ll find the list of ways to respond to greetings below.

We also share tips for choosing the right response for your particular situation below the list.

  1. Hello.
  2. Hi there!
  3. Good [morning/afternoon/evening].
  4. It’s so good to see you!
  5. How are you doing?
  6. Good day.
  7. What’s up?
  8. Pleased to meet you.
  9. Hey.
  10. Morning.
  11. What’s been happening lately?
  12. It’s nice to see you again.
  13. How do you do?
  14. How’s it going?
  15. Long time no see.
  16. It’s lovely to see you.
  17. Hey, stranger!
    for someone you haven’t seen recently
  18. Hey, friend.
  19. How have you been?
  20. Hello, welcome to [place].
  21. It’s a pleasure to meet you.
  22. What’s new?
  23. How’s your day going?
  24. I’m happy I bumped into you.
  25. Hey, I haven’t seen you in a while.
  26. How have things been?
  27. Hey there!
  28. It’s been a while.
  29. I love your [item to compliment].
  30. Where did you come from?
  31. I hoped I would run into you.
  32. Hi! I wish I had time to talk, but I’m kind of in a rush.
  33. It’s been a while. You look great.
  34. Hey, you.
  35. What’s been going on?
  36. What are you up to?
  37. Wow — it’s been ages since we saw each other.
  38. Hey, [nickname].
  39. How’s life been treating you?
  40. Howdy.
  41. What’s shakin’?
  42. We meet at last.
  43. Hiya.

How to Choose the Best Response to Greetings

Considering the vast array of personalities found everywhere you go, it can be a challenge to choose the right response to a greeting.

Having a few in mind ahead of time can make social situations less stressful and more enjoyable.

Consider these tips while responding to a text or email greeting, or as you decide on a few to add to your mental list:

  • Keep your relationship with the person in mind. For professional exchanges, stick to a more formal greeting, such as “Hello! How are you?” Informal and overly friendly greetings, such as “What’s up?” or “Hey, bro,” should be reserved for close friends and casual acquaintances.
  • Be genuine. Point out an accessory to their outfit that you really like, or ask a question about an interest you both share. Being genuine is particularly important when giving compliments. Your honesty will make the recipient of the compliment feel more comfortable and help lead to a more natural flow in the conversation.
  • Use what feels natural. Avoid greetings that feel unnatural to you — for example, those that don’t match your usual conversational tone. Trying too hard to sound a certain way can make the conversation feel uncomfortable.
  • Watch for social cues. If you’re interacting with someone who’s full of joy and energy, you may want to return this in your greeting and throughout the conversation. If they seem more serious and uninterested, stick with something short and simple and see where the conversation goes.

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