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Who Are You Telling to Have a Nice Day?

Updated on February 12, 2013

Have a nice day! I wondered if my new acquaintance, a store clerk, actually meant it or it was just an expression we use to bid each other farewell. Would it really matter if I had a nice day? I don’t even know this person. Why would she care what type of day I was going to have?

Perhaps I am being too analytical or maybe even too harsh on this subject. Maybe some people are just naturally good-hearted with innate feelings of good-will toward others. But why, what would it matter what they wish upon me? Is it to make my day seem brighter or make them feel better?

The more I thought about the phrase, “Have a nice day”, the more I became convinced of its insincerity. I began wondering about all of the things we should wish people if we were truly concerned about their well-being. How about yelling out, “Lose some weight, it’s good for your heart” or how about “Get your blood tested regularly”. As absurd as this may sound, it would actually have a much more profound effect on people’s lives if they followed our advice.

Instead of telling a stranger to have a nice day, wouldn’t you rather tell a smoker, “Stop smoking - it is killing you!”? What about yelling across the street to the nosey neighbor, “Hey, go in your house and mind your own business!” I bet that would make you feel better than wishing a stranger a nice day.

It seems that anywhere we go we are doomed to have a nice day wished upon us! What about those of us who simply do not want to have a nice day? Do we have any recourse? Can we fight back? Maybe the best defense is a good offense. Maybe we should attack first by automatically greeting everyone with “Hoping you have a nice day!”.

This may momentarily confuse them and throw them off-guard. If they do recover and happen to wish you a nice day, you should immediately counter-attack in your loudest voice by yelling, “NO, YOU HAVE A NICE DAY!!!” While this may seem somewhat aggressive, it will guarantee they will not wish you a nice day again!

If all else fails you should tell them to get their blood tested regularly.


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    • LadyLyell profile image

      LadyLyell 6 years ago from George, South Africa

      I think this comment "have a nice day" is a greeting that can be easily translated but the intent is still empty. In South Africa where I lived for 33yrs most people said "howzit" (how-is-it?) and just move on. To get the persons attention back one can always say "I'm very ill thanks for asking." Oh, how these habits go unnoticed!

      These topics sure stir!

    • giocatore profile image

      giocatore 6 years ago

      It's always nice to find a fellow curmudgeon. Up, following, sharing. Cheers, Jim

    • anusha15 profile image

      Anusha Jain 6 years ago from Delhi, India

      That was a great read. It really made me laugh. When I know the other person doesn't mean his/her wish, I feel I could simply make a face and say "same to you" as a taunt! :D

      On a serious note however, its true that most people just say all these things without meaning them. "Many people will ask you, how are you, few will actually wait for your answer." And actually, fewer will be genuinely interested. :)

    • Phil Plasma profile image

      Phil Plasma 6 years ago from Montreal, Quebec

      I will often say 'Good Luck' in situations where others would say 'Have a nice day', they would invariably ask, 'good luck for what?' and I answer: well, pick something happening in your life for which luck would be helpful, and that is what I am wishing.

    • FloraBreenRobison profile image

      FloraBreenRobison 6 years ago

      I believe that people in stores are supposed to say "Have a nice day." It is part of their list of duties -a polite form of goodbye to the customer.

    • KevinC9998 profile image

      KevinC9998 6 years ago

      Thanks for the comment! Have a nice day! (seriously) Kevin

    • Paradise7 profile image

      Paradise7 6 years ago from Upstate New York

      I've heard people say, "Have a nice day" sarcastically. I've done that myself, with a bit of a grin. Most of the time I do wish total strangers well. Now it occurs to me, they don't appreciate it! I found this hub at least mildly amusing in spots, and that's a lot better than I can do when I try to be funny.