Do you know someone who when you asked them about their day, they reply with a simple “so-so”? I guess you probably will wonder what kind of answer that means.
How about times you felt uncertain about a particular duty/task and for lack of words respond with a so-so? Did you just not your head?
Whichever the case, whether it is you or someone else the above scenario relates to, well, I have got good news; this article is for you.
What exactly is the meaning of so-so?
When someone says so-so, it means their outburst is neither good nor bad. You can also say “so-so” if you are indifferent about certain issues or situations.
So, what better response is to a “so-so” statement? Just relax.
In this article, we’ll explore 15 different ways to respond to so-so and where the scenario fits best either for you or someone you ask a question.
15 Best Replies to So-So
As stated in the opening paragraph, different factors and situations warrant different answers when it comes to the reply to give to a so-so statement and this should be taken into light before giving any reply.
From what I have noted, if someone says so-so, people usually respond by saying supportive words like “keep hanging in there”, “you are better than before” or just asking further questions like “are you doing okay?”, “why not get better?”.
These answers are not a size fit all when it comes to the best replies to give to a so-so statement, but only cover the common situation in these responses fit.
Without wasting time, the following are the best replies to a so-so statement. Enjoy!
“Keep hanging in there”
“Keep hanging in there” response acknowledges that you recognize the struggle of your speaker and that though they may go through tough times, they should not give up.
One who’s been through a job loss for a long time and upon asking how they are faring response with a so-so at this point would need encouraging words to help them keep their sanity.
This response also is suitable for a person who has lost a very important personality either through a heartbeat or a demise, providing support will as well go a long way to strengthen them.
Do remember that this response works best with one who’s hit hard with life struggles and is on the verge of throwing in the towel.
Are you doing alright?
Like the response above, this simple and honest response shows your listener that you realize they may not be doing great, but aren’t doing either.
You give this response when it is glaring that they are silent, and it’s obvious they are beating themselves out with no one taking cognizance of their state.
Their bodily actions are subtle signs that they are barely getting by, an occasional drop of the head, a consistent soliloquy, and wanting to be alone should not be ignored.
By responding with ” are you alright, ” you not only show them you care about their welfare but make them also keep pushing on and doing better.
You’re better than before
This suggests to your listener that though they aren’t at their best, they are better than you’ve met them. See it as something to spur their morale.
Sequel to our example about the individual who had lost their job, if after some time you catch up with them and notice a significant improvement in their mood then a “better-than-before” statement is the best reply to the so-so statement.
Another case study is of one struggling with an addiction, through grits and a willingness to break from such, witnessed a health improvement, complimenting these persons would go a long way to their total recovery.
This gives hope and makes it easier for them to forge ahead. In addition, it gives them an improved state of well-being that their esteem sees improvement for good.
Which do you prefer?
It is quite annoying when it takes forever for someone to decide, worse is when such a person keeps changing options unnecessarily and keeps being so-so in their approach.
To salvage what you can, it is pertinent to know that responding with a “which do you prefer” would call their attention that they can’t stand aloof forever trying to decide.
When next you go shopping, hiking, or just for a walk with an indecisive person who constantly jogs between a particular aspect, put them in the moment by asking them which they prefer.
I’ll do it without you
While this response may appear rude, sometimes these indecisive folks need to know that with or without them, you can move on.
Imagine telling a friend that you want to go out and would need them to give you a lift to your destination, then they come up with an excuse.
To save face and your dignity, respond by saying you would do it without them.
You are not being rude when you come up with an answer like this, it is about them knowing that they think you’d likely be stranded, they are always an alternative.
Also, doing this shows them you are independent and can handle your end despite them assisting you or not.
Now you might need to be soft here.
Some people aren’t cowardly because they want to be. The thing is when being criticized often and with no encouragement to battle this aspect of their life, they renege.
If you know anyone who fits into this category, then make them know they need to be bold each time they come up with their so-so statement regarding any activities.
This would eventually teach them to stand firm in the face of an opponent while still allowing them to express themselves.
Take your Time
Slow and steady wins the race, at least so they say.
One who is fast but not meticulous enough to see that they do a task well is likely to give in a lot of excuses why they flop, save them this stress by telling them to take their time.
It could be they are trying to meet up with a deadline or just being scattered brain, whatever it is the reason for being careless, your best reply to their so-so should be to take their time.
Tell me the truth
You can tell the uncomfortable feeling from one who isn’t used to lying. Their posture, eye contact avoidance, and even their stuttering, these signs give them away easily.
When this happens, you are more likely to notice that there’s a repetition of a particular statement, sometimes it could be so-so.
One best response that would take them off guard and at the same time cause them to come plain is when you tell them to tell you the truth.
Let me handle it
This is what a superior would say to their subordinate (am not talking just business).
Events could escalate and one who isn’t skilled enough to handle a social quagmire will need to step aside for someone more experienced, lucky if you are that maestro.
When you discover that one who manages certain situations is fumbling(especially when they make incoherent statements), you need no forecast to make you step into the matter. A simple let me handle it would do.
How can I Improve?
Sometimes subordinates fear you and would not want to call out your bluff, when this happens you are likely to meet with a so-so statement each time you ask for a suggestion or the result of your task.
While not everyone would notice the subtle signs given by their subordinate or one lesser than them, it is in your best interest to identify instances where the latter wants you to improve.
Maybe you went overboard in an action involving one of your subordinates and when you inquired about your action, the rest of your subordinates kept stuttering, that’s when you should seize the opportunity to ask where you can improve.
Maybe a speaker is finding it hard to explain a point and the more they try to do so, the less the message communication.
Your ability to preempt what they want to say will make “I understand” a perfect answer to give to their so-so statement.
Responding with an: I understand, saves the speaker the stress of trying to make their point across especially if you as the listener know what they want to say.
This situation arises when a speaker lacks the words to describe the thought in their head.
Moreso, a reply like ” I Understand negates the tendency to exaggerate, this exaggeration happens when the speaker tries to sound too convincing.
Can you do it?
One who is unsure of the job at hand will stall just to buy time to decide if the job is worth executing or not, if time is not on your side, respond to their hesitation with a: can you do it? Will save precious time.
This response allows prompt decision-making and prevents a delay in the job’s execution or action required. More so, this response reveals if the said person is qualified or not.
How much is it?
You will find this response valid when the task at hand requires spending or incurs an upfront payment of some sort. Here is why the person involved won’t tell you directly.
The nature of the job may be trivial yet requires a little buying to kick-start the operation, and they realized you are one person who believes in getting the job done before getting paid, chances are they will be hesitant about being clean with you.
When you notice they are uncomfortable or flighty in the manner of their speech, your best response is to ask them what it will cost to get the job in motion.
Let’s Talk Later
The last thing you will want to happen to you is to be rushed in the middle of a conversation or over the phone and to avoid that there is a need to come up with the best reply if you feel rushed.
This response is handy when what is communicated is vital and the speaker is incoherent or they seem not to have a grasp of their emotion, it is only proper to have them know that you would speak to them later to avoid misinformation.
Other instances where you can respond to a so-so statement with a let’s talk later is when you are either busy and unable to attend to questions or any discussion when the setting or scene is tense and communicating at the moment isn’t feasible.
You should take a break
Exasperation could take an overwhelming toll on the psyche of some people which makes them communicate or act irrationally.
If you or a friend is suffering from this yet speaks to you, then it’s time to make them take a break or you do.
Going about this response takes a kind of finesse so as not to make them see you as unruly and being hard on them.
You could start with a joke or find a perfect spot to hold a Tete-a-tete while still taking into cognizance their mental state.
One thing to remember is that the statement so-so depicts a neutral and somewhat confused state a person is in, and depending on the level of confusion, circumstances, etc, the best reply will differ.
For one who is battling with self-doubt, the reply to their “so-so ” statement won’t be the same as one who is deliberately laying around and shying away from duty.
Nevertheless, this article has everything you need to offer the best reply to so-so regardless of the condition and instances in which the statement is made.
Let me know if you’ve got further additions to our replies in the comment section.