How to respond to what’s up – Best Replies

how to respond to what's up

Best ways to respond to ‘What’s up?’ I’m just here, Holding up, Fine to the power of three, Fine, tired

Admit it, ‘What’s up?’ has to be the most commonly used phrase in conversations between people, whether they are just meeting or they already know each other well. There are so many uses of the phrase, from inquiring why a friend is down to getting feedback when waiting on something, you name it, it’s countless.

While it is quite easy to throw in ‘I’m good’ or ‘Nothing much’ or be queasy and throw in a ‘The sky’ or ‘The ceiling,’ which can earn a laugh or glare, there are better ways to jump on this question. 

Firstly, and very importantly, let us have a proper view of the question in order to understand it better.

The phrase ‘What’s up?’ is the clipped form of ‘What is up?’. It is an informal phrase used when conversing, and it directly means ‘What is on your mind?‘What is going on?’ ‘How are you?’, among others. It simply is a question that means ‘What is the update?’ or ‘Update me.’

Jeff Bezos Career Advice
Jeff Bezos Career Advice

We need to understand that ‘What’s up?’ most times is intended to be a conversation starter. Unfortunately, it is now a phrase that brings conversations to an abrupt end because people see it as an over-flogged question.

Now that we have gotten these clearly, we will move right to the Best ways to jump on the question, ‘What’s up?’. I’ll handle the responses Scenario-wise so we can get clear pictures ad proper understanding.

Scenario One – When used to check on you

Let us say a normal conversation begins with a close friend, Candy, whom you also spoke to yesterday, and she hits you with ‘So what’s up?’. Remember you spoke to Candy yesterday. Howbeit, instead of giving the usual ‘Nothing much,’ understand that Candy means ‘How are you today?’. So go right ahead and tell her exactly how you are! Just as long as you do not give too much info.

Best responses for when someone says ‘What’s up?’ in this scenario may include:

  • ‘As good as I can be because I have a test tomorrow, and I really am not prepared for it.’ Talk about how you feel with a little detail about what is on your mind. It would naturally birth a wonderful conversation.
  • ‘I feel a little bit under the weather today.’
  • ‘I don’t feel so good.’
  • ‘Fine to the power of three.’
  • ‘I’m just here.’
  • ‘Holding up.’

Freely respond to the question, don’t be scared of giving a response that will encourage a conversation, except, of course, you are not in the right frame of mind to engage in a conversation that will be talked about too.

Scenario Two – When used as an Ice-breaker 

You are sitting at a Cinema, waiting for your movie in the waiting hall. You are feeling good as you finally have some time to relax and have a bit of fun. There’s popcorn in one hand, cell phone in the other, and an admirer on your tail. You see him check you out from time to time. I mean, he is not exactly sneaky about it. Just as expected, he makes his way to your end and hits you up with the ‘Hey, what’s up?’. You know the most likely does not want to know how much your feet are hurting in your sneakers at that point, or maybe he does. Anyways, he wants any response that will show him a green light from you. So go right ahead and give a brief, rather obvious, and straight to the point response. 

Best responses in this scenario may include:

  • ‘I’m fine. Thanks’ 
  • ‘Just waiting for my movie.’
  • ‘Quite excited about the movie.’
  • ‘Enjoying my popcorn and soda.’
  • ‘I am great. You?’

Depending on your mood at the moment, it really is up to you to return the question. Your warm reply, however, is an indication that you are open to a conversation.

Scenario Three – When used to get feedback

Your Team at school is given a project, and you take the lead on a particular part of it and just right after you settle into your not-so-comfy seat in the class, Jonathan, a member of the team, pokes you with his pen from behind and whispers ‘What’s up?’. You know what he wants – Updates! Updates! Updates! No, he does not want to know if you had lunch at the cafeteria or how you are (well, that depends on whether or not he has a crush on you). So go right ahead and give a proper progress report depending on how good enough the time is to get into proper details.

Best responses in this scenario may include:

  • ‘I’m sorry, nothing worthwhile yet. I promise to get right to it after school.’
  • ‘About 60% of the girls have filled the form. Miss Honey-Bee asked me to meet her tomorrow morning. I think she wants to give us a helping hand. Great, right?’
  • ‘It went smoothly!! I’ll fill you in after this period.’
  • ‘Give me some time, please.’
  • ‘I’ll drop a proper progress report on the group platform this night.’

Whatever is the most convenient way to give the person a feedback, pounce on it.

Scenario Four – When used to make enquiry

Say, you have a meeting scheduled to hold by 3:30 pm at school. After rushing things, you get to the meeting venue just in time to hear the host address everyone present, asking them to exercise patience as the meeting scheduled for 3:30 pm kindly will now be moved by 4:00 pm. The host gives you reasons for the change in timing and heads back in, probably to get things fully set for the meeting. Just as you sit there, hating yourself for rushing things and wishing you did not have to be on time today of all days, someone just coming in taps you and asks, ‘What’s up?’. This scenario explains itself – He wants to know what is going on, mostly why the meeting is not yet. So you go right ahead and give explanatory information depending on your level of relationship with the Enquirer. 

Best responses in this scenario may include:

  • ‘The meeting has been moved to 4:00 pm.’
  • ‘The Host, Miss Jean, announced that Mr. Austin is stuck in traffic but is almost here. Ergo, the meeting will begin at 4:00 pm. Hopefully, he should have gotten here and settled in’. 
  • ‘Just a little adjustment to the timing.’
  • ‘We’ll begin a little late. Pfff! So much for coming early today.’

Now is definitely not a good time to hit back with ‘Nothing much’.

Scenario Five – When used to ask for an update

You have been at the hospital since 8:00 am. Anna, your big sister, has been in labor. The atmosphere is filled with tension and a little bit of excitement. Mom, Dad, and Anna’s husband, Ken, are in the waiting room with you pacing up and down the room. You sit there as you try to say a little prayer. Angie, your other sister, rushes in through the door. Seeing that you are the closest to the door, she comes at you with ‘What’s up?’. She is obviously not interested in if you have eaten if you have had any sleep at all, or how you feel. She really is interested in getting an update on your sister’s situation in the labor room. So get right at it, give her an update.

Best responses in this scenario may include:

  • ‘No update yet.’
  • ‘They just took her into surgery a short while ago.’
  • ‘Not good at all.’
  • ‘The midwife says she’s doing okay. She needs to keep up.’
  • ‘We have a niece!!!’

Be sure not to give information that the other person already has, like ‘Anna was rushed in early this morning’. Except of course she has no idea of that yet.

Scenario Six – When used to show concern

You come home after a long day at school. Many mentally draining things went on, and you want to curl up on your bed and have a long, satisfying sleep. Just as you make your way through the door, you find your mom on the couch. You give her a convincing hug so she would not notice how low your mood is. Unfortunately, it does not work for your mom, and you are not surprised. As you microwave some leftover pizza from last night to eat, your mom walks over, and after a while of studying you, she asks, ‘What’s up, Honey?’. Since you may like to bottle up everything, this is the right time to share your worries as the ‘What’s up?’ asked is her showing concern. So dive right into the problems at school. Go on.

Best responses in this scenario may include:

  • ‘Definitely not my grades.’
  •  ‘School was horrible today.’
  • ‘A lot, Mom.’
  • ‘Just school being school.’
  • ‘I can’t keep up with the drama at school anymore.’
  • ‘Just the grades I got on my Math Test today.’
  • ‘I think I’m giving up on school.’
  •  ‘Nothing to worry about, Mom.’

Just take advantage of the concern shown and take out some negative energy.

Scenario Seven – When used by someone you are getting to know/building friendship with

You met Jamie at a club, and both of you instantly clicked. You sat side by side, spoke for a while, and then exchanged contacts. It was really nice meeting Jamie. So one sunny Saturday morning, just after having a breakfast of bread and eggs fried sunny-side up, you go online. You are just online, scrolling, swiping, tapping, just surfing the net as usual, and responding to messages as well as initiating conversations, and then a message from Jamie pops up – ‘What’s up?’. Remember, you and Jamie are trying to build a good relationship, so cutting him off or making the conversation seem one-sided or force would be very unhealthy for the blooming friendship. Ergo, you tell Jamie how you are and return the question. Just go ahead and build your friendship.

Best responses in this scenario may include:

  • ‘Oh, Hi, Jamie!’
  • ‘I’m very well. What’s up with you?’
  • ‘I’m doing alright.’
  • ‘Hey, friend!’
  • ‘Nothing new over here since the last time we spoke.’

Scenario Eight – When used by Your Bae or Crush

Wait! Did you think I wouldn’t go there? Of course I would. 

It’s a warm day, and you are at the park where you took your dog, Craig, for a walk. Your phone keeps beeping in your pocket as messages come in. When you know Craig has had just enough for the day, you find your way to a seat somewhere at the park and slip your phone right out to see who is concerned about you. Oh Wow! You see a text from Bae or that girl in your music class that you have a huge crush. My point is, you really care about this person. This could even be a chance to give this person a little hint that you are into them.

Best responses in this scenario may include:

  • ‘Thinking of you.’
  • ‘Missing you.’
  • ‘My feelings for you.’
  • ‘I’m good, but it would have been better if you were here with me.’
  • ‘Relaxing at the park with Craig. Are you free to join in?

I think you get the point. Just make sure the reply is not flat.

Okay! The serious ones are probably done reading as they have gotten a handful of great responses to give. We shall now move on to the unserious answers or queasy answers (wink).

Scenario Nine – When you do not want to engage in the conversation

While it is only polite to give a warm response to the question ‘What’s up?’, sometimes you really may not be up for a conversation. So how best can you respond to ‘What’s up?’ to ward off conversations.

Best responses in this scenario may include:

  • A thumbs up
  • A slight nod with a straight face.
  • A half-smile
  • A brief wave
  • ‘Fine’
  • ‘Tired’
  • ‘Not in the mood to talk.’
  • ‘Enjoying my solitude and would appreciate it if you let me continue with that.

Your single word replies and body language should be great indicators that you are not in the mood for the conversation. Also, a direct comment on your lack of interest to talk can do the trick depending on how straight forward you are ready to be with the person. Howbeit, it is really up to them to get the message and relent or keep pushing to have a conversation at their own expense. It is up to you too to let them know how serious you are.

Scenario Ten – When it is from your Guys!!

Guys,’ as used in this context, refers to your close friends who you are really free and chill with. Of course, you cannot be serious with your guys. They are usually goofing always too. So when one of your big head guys hit you up with ‘What’s up?’, be as goofy and crazy as you can be.

Best responses in this scenario may include:

  • ‘Your annoying text on my screen.’
  • ‘The sky.’
  • ‘The price of food.’
  • ‘Your big head.’
  • ‘Definitely not your grades or IQ :P.’
  • ‘One of the few words you can spell.’
  • ‘The opposite of down.’
  • ‘An English word, duhrr!’
  • ‘Just here tolerating you as usual.’
  • ‘The headache you have successfully given me.’

Be as free as you can be but also be conscious of their tone. Maybe, by some miracle from heaven, they may actually be serious. Haha!

In conclusion, ‘What’s up?’ is not as bad as it seems to be nowadays. You have to respond to it well instead of giving up. It is great for you to understand the scenario you are in completely. Only then can you know the best response to give and how to take advantage of the situation if the need arises.

Also read: Different Ways To Say ‘Hello’

How to respond to what’s up – Best Replies

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