My office sits right above the fitness center desk. Naturally, I hear any conversation happening over a normal speaking volume.
The most common question I hear is, “Are you going out tonight?” I wouldn’t discredit the importance of this question. Humans flourish through social interactions, and literally become sick without them.
That said, I do wish I heard this one more often: “How are you?”, followed by a pause, followed by a follow-up question, followed by another pause. “How are you?” is also a common question, but the pause is rare. The pause indicates the questioner cares and is listening.
The pause is for the other person, not for you.
“Are you going out tonight?” is for you, not the other person.