I have learned a pro tip that I want to share with any other socially awkward people out there.

Suppose you have rehearsed replies for the most common ways that people say goodbye:

“See you later”—>”You too”;
“Have a good day”—>”You too”;
etc. …

HOWEVER, sometimes people mix, match, or combine these:

“Bye, see you later! Have a good day.”
“Have a good day! Love you!”
“It was good to see you, see you later! Bye!”

The problem here is that the rehearsed replies don’t always work well combined in a series:

“Bye, you too, you too!”
“You too, love you too!”
“Good to see you too, you too, bye!”
(What? You’re just repeating “You too” over and over!)

Without just using a rehearsed reply, you have to invent a new one on the spot, which for some of us takes too long. Precious milliseconds pass, and it becomes awkward.

For most people, these phatic greetings & partings can be processed in barely an instant, so they expect the same from you. They might wonder at your delay, whether you might be faking or something—never realizing that answering their barrage of words (however heart-warming) feels to you like playing Guitar Hero on Expert mode.


While repeating YOURSELF might sound weird, you might be surprised at how acceptable it sounds, in phatic language, to drop the word “too” and just repeat THE OTHER PERSON word-for-word. (At least I was surprised at this realization…)


“Bye, see you later! Have a good day.”
“Bye, you too! Have a good day.”

“Have a good day! Love you!”
“You too, have a good day!”

“It was good to see you, see you later! Bye!”
“You too, see you later! Bye!”

So simple, and yet so effective. I hope someone finds this as helpful as I have.

Happy socializing! ☺️

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