This friendly question is a common way people inquire about your current activities or plans. It’s a conversational bridge to knowing more about your day, hobbies, work, or just about anything that occupies your time.
Responding to this question can sometimes feel tricky, especially if you want to make the conversation more engaging. But don’t worry; we’ve got you covered! In this guide, we’ll dive into an array of creative and interesting responses that will take your conversations to the next level. Let’s get started!
Table of Contents
- Leisure and Entertainment
- Physical Activities and Sports
- Cooking and Baking
- Hobbies and Personal Projects
- “Working on my hobby.”
- “Taking an online course.”
- “Crafting a DIY project.”
- “Painting a picture.”
- “Practicing calligraphy.”
- “Building a model.”
- “Restoring a piece of furniture.”
- “Quilting a blanket.”
- “Working on a project.”
- “Doing a DIY home renovation.”
- “Collecting stamps.”
- “Exploring a new neighborhood.”
- “Learning a musical instrument.”
- “Building a treehouse.”
- “Fishing at the lake.”
- “Learning magic tricks.”
- “Learning to knit.”
- “Building a Lego set.”
- “Repairing a bicycle.”
- Social Activities
- Outdoor Activities
- Work and Professional Activities
- Studying and Learning
- Writing and Content Creation
- Family and Personal Life
- “Spending time with family.”
- “Just returned from a trip.”
- “Enjoying my coffee.”
- “Waiting for a friend.”
- “Planning my week.”
- “Taking a break from work.”
- “Phoning an old friend.”
- “Checking in on my investments.”
- “Just about to take my dog for a walk.”
- “Tutoring my younger sibling.”
- “Giving my cat a bath.”
- “Creating a budget.”
- “Getting a head start on holiday shopping.”
- “Taking a nap.”
- “Packing for a weekend getaway.”
- “Planting in the garden.”
- “Trying to beat my chess high score.”
- “Going through old photos.”
- “Investigating my family tree.”
- “Trying a new makeup tutorial.”
- “Rehearsing lines for a play.”
- “Brushing up on my foreign language skills.”
- “Prepping for a garage sale.”
- Artistic Endeavours
- Frequently Asked Questions
Leisure and Entertainment
This response is ideal when you’re having a leisurely time, perhaps lounging on your couch or in a hammock. You could be reading a book, enjoying a cup of tea, or just taking in the peace and quiet around you.
Tip: Keep it simple if you prefer not to go into specifics. "Just relaxing, how about you?"
“Listening to some music.”
This phrase is perfect when you’re chilling out with your favorite tunes. Maybe you’re exploring a new genre, or perhaps you’re revisiting an old favorite album.
Did You Know: Listening to music can positively influence your mood and even increase productivity.
“Playing a video game.”
Use this when you’re in the middle of an intense game session. Video games can be an excellent way to unwind and disconnect from the world, as well as a great source of social interaction.
“Binge-watching a new series.”
When you’re engrossed in a television series, this response is spot on. Binge-watching has become a popular activity, especially with the rise of streaming platforms.
Tip: You might want to add, "No spoilers, please!" to the end of your answer if you're talking to someone who might know the show.
“Listening to a podcast.”
If you’re immersed in an interesting audio narrative or discussion, you’re likely to be “listening to a podcast.” Podcasts are a fantastic source of entertainment and education, allowing you to explore a vast range of topics.
Fact: As of 2021, there were over 2 million podcasts and more than 48 million podcast episodes. That's a lot of content!
“Catching up on some work.”
Although not strictly leisure or entertainment, sometimes work does spill into our free time. This answer is for when you’re working outside the usual work hours.
“Browsing the internet.”
When you’re surfing the web casually, maybe reading blog posts, looking at memes, or catching up on social media, “browsing the internet” is a fitting response.
Example: "Just browsing the internet. I found this great new blog about sustainable living."
“Editing a video.”
This reply is ideal if you’re spending your time slicing clips, adding effects, and piecing together visuals to create a compelling video. This tells the person you’re talking to that you’re engaged in a creative and tech-related activity.
“Mixing a music track.”
This means you’re playing around with different sounds to make music. It shows you like music and enjoy being creative.
“Cheering on my favorite sports team.”
If you’re watching your favorite sports team and supporting them, this is the perfect response. It shows that you enjoy watching sports.
Physical Activities and Sports
“Working out at the gym.”
If you’re busy having a fitness session, you can reply with this. It’s an effective way to get in shape, burn off stress, and even meet new people.
This response is perfect when you’re in a relaxation or exercise session. Yoga can be an excellent way to improve flexibility, strength, and balance while promoting a sense of inner peace.
Did You Know: Yoga dates back over 5,000 years, and it was first practiced in Northern India.
“Taking a photography walk.”
If you’re out snapping photos, whether it’s for your personal album, Instagram, or a professional project, this phrase is a fitting answer.
Tip: Don't forget to mention the type of photography you're doing, such as nature, architecture, or street photography, for a more engaging conversation.
“Going for a run.”
This is an appropriate response if you’re out jogging for exercise. Running is a popular form of physical activity that can help reduce stress and increase self-esteem.
Fact: According to Harvard Health, running for 15 minutes a day or walking for an hour reduces the risk of major depression.
“Trying a new workout routine.”
If you’re experimenting with a new fitness regimen, your response might be this. Regularly changing up your routine can make working out more fun and prevent your progress from plateauing.
Example: "Trying a new workout routine. I'm giving HIIT a shot to spice up my fitness journey!"
“Doing some morning stretches.”
This is a suitable answer when you’re warming up your body for the day. Stretching in the morning can help wake up your muscles and boost your energy levels.
“Training for a marathon.”
This is an appropriate answer when you’re preparing for a long-distance race. Marathon training requires dedication, perseverance, and a lot of time but can be incredibly rewarding.
Did You Know: The marathon's distance of 26.2 miles is inspired by the legend of Pheidippides, a Greek messenger who reportedly ran from Marathon to Athens to deliver news of a military victory.
“Training for a marathon.”
This response shows that you’re dedicated, disciplined, and focused. Training for a marathon is not only about physical strength but also about mental toughness and consistency. This is a clear way of telling someone that you are not just physically active but also striving towards a challenging goal.
“Skating at the park.”
This is a perfect answer if you’re enjoying a sunny day outdoors on your skateboard. It tells the person you’re talking to that you’re taking time to enjoy an outdoor activity, which can also be a fun, adrenaline-pumping hobby.
Cooking and Baking
“Preparing food for dinner.”
If you’re in the process of making a meal, a suitable response would be this. Cooking can be a therapeutic activity, and it’s always rewarding to enjoy a meal that you’ve made yourself.
Fact: A Harvard Medical School study found that people who cook at home more often have healthier diets and consume fewer calories than those who cook less.
“Learning to cook a new dish.”
This is a perfect answer when you’re experimenting in the kitchen. Trying new recipes expands your culinary skills and introduces you to different cuisines.
Example: "Learning to cook a new dish. Trying my hand at homemade sushi tonight!"
This is an apt response when you’re in the kitchen whipping up some sweet treats. Baking can be a fun and satisfying activity, and the result is always delicious.
“Trying to decide what to cook for dinner.”
When you’re pondering your culinary options for the evening, this phrase can be your go-to response.
Tip: You might want to ask for their favorite recipes or meal suggestions. It's a great way to engage in a conversation and get some new ideas for your dinner.
“Mixing a new cocktail recipe.”
This is a suitable answer if you’re experimenting with different drink concoctions. Crafting cocktails can be an art in itself, and there’s always something new to try.
Did You Know: The oldest known cocktail is the Sazerac, which dates back to the 1800s
“Brewing homemade beer.”
If you’re into breweries and making your own beer, you could say this. This hobby has gained popularity over the years, as it offers unlimited customization and creativity.
Fact: Homebrewing was illegal in the United States until 1978 when President Jimmy Carter signed a bill allowing it.
“Grilling a BBQ in my backyard.”
If you’re cooking outside, you can use this response. It shows that you’re enjoying your day with good food, maybe with friends and family too.
Hobbies and Personal Projects
“Working on my hobby.”
When you’re spending time on a personal interest or hobby, you can use this response. Whether it’s painting, reading, gardening, or anything else you enjoy, hobbies are a fantastic way to express yourself and relax.
“Taking an online course.”
If you’re expanding your knowledge or skills virtually, this is an appropriate response. Online courses make learning accessible and flexible, allowing you to learn at your own pace.
Fact: According to Class Central, the modern MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) movement has reached 220 million learners by 2021.
“Crafting a DIY project.”
For those engaged in a hands-on creative task, this is a fitting answer. DIY projects are not only a great way to spend your free time, but they can also provide a sense of accomplishment and pride in your work.
Example: "Crafting a DIY project. I'm making a birdhouse for our garden."
“Painting a picture.”
If you’re practicing your art skills, you could reply with this. Painting can be therapeutic and a fantastic way to express your creativity.
Did You Know: The oldest known paintings are approximately 40,000 years old, found in both Africa and Indonesia.
This is an ideal answer if you’re working on your artful handwriting skills. Calligraphy is an ancient art form that requires practice and patience but can lead to beautiful results.
Tip: You could mention the type of calligraphy you're practicing, like modern, gothic, or brush lettering, to make the conversation more interesting.
“Building a model.”
If you’re assembling a model kit, such as a ship, airplane, or car, you could use this phrase. It’s a hobby that requires patience and precision, and it can be incredibly satisfying to see the final product.
“Restoring a piece of furniture.”
When you’re engaged in a restoration project, this phrase is a suitable response. This is a great hobby for those who enjoy working with their hands and bringing new life to old items.
“Quilting a blanket.”
This would be the ideal response if you’re creating a cozy accessory from multiple fabric pieces. Quilting is a traditional craft that can be both relaxing and rewarding.
Did You Know: The world's largest quilt, the AIDS Memorial Quilt, measures 1.3 million square feet and is dedicated to the lives lost to AIDS.
“Working on a project.”
You could say this if you’re focused on a specific task or project. This could range from writing a book to setting up a new aquarium.
Example: "Working on a project. I'm setting up a vegetable garden in my backyard."
“Doing a DIY home renovation.”
This phrase is perfect if you’re improving your home. Home renovation can be a significant project but also an excellent way to enhance your living space and increase your home’s value.
This would be an appropriate response if you’re adding to or organizing your stamp collection. Stamp collecting is a popular hobby worldwide and can provide an interesting glimpse into history and culture.
“Exploring a new neighborhood.”
When you’re out and about in a new place, you can reply with this phrase. Exploring helps you become more familiar with your surroundings and discover new places.
Tip: You could mention something unique you discovered during your exploration, like a quaint coffee shop or a beautiful park.
“Learning a musical instrument.”
Whether you’re trying your hands at the piano keys or drawing the bow across the violin strings, each moment spent learning a musical instrument contributes to an enlightening journey of patience, discipline, and creativity. Sharing this might inspire someone else to start their own musical journey!
“Building a treehouse.”
Tell them about the treehouse you’re building! It’s an exciting DIY project, ideal for those who love woodworking and outdoor activities. Not only does it engage your creativity, but it also develops your problem-solving skills. Once complete, it’s a proud testament to your hard work.
“Fishing at the lake.”
You say this when you’re taking a break from your busy life, sitting by the water, and trying to catch some fish. Fishing isn’t just about catching fish, it’s also about being at peace with yourself in the calmness of nature.
“Learning magic tricks.”
You say this when you’re trying to learn some new tricks to surprise your friends or simply to amuse yourself. Learning magic tricks is a fun hobby that can also become a great party trick.
“Learning to knit.”
This response shows that you are spending time learning and working on a personal hobby. Knitting is a calming and valuable pastime. By sharing this, you’re telling others that you enjoy crafting and are trying to get better at it.
“Building a Lego set.”
If you’re putting together Lego pieces to make something, you can use this response. It shows you like fun challenges and being creative.
“Repairing a bicycle.”
If you’re fixing a bike, this is a good reply. It shows that you’re good with your hands and solving problems. It might also mean that you like cycling.
“Hanging out with friends.”
You use this response when you’re spending your free time with your buddies. It could be doing anything – watching movies, playing games, or just sitting and talking.
“Nothing much, what about you?”
This is a perfect response if you’re not doing anything special and you’re interested in what they’re doing. It’s a way to express your interest in the other person’s activities.
Tip: Use this phrase to show that you're open for a chat and would love to hear what the other person is up to.
“Decorating for a party.”
Getting ready to host a celebration? Your preparations might include hanging balloons, setting the table, or crafting DIY decorations. Sharing this can lead to an interesting chat about the event, whether it’s a birthday, anniversary, or a simple get-together.
“Attending a workshop.”
This response is perfect if you’re currently involved in an educational event or course. It shows you’re active in self-improvement or professional development. Be prepared to share a few details about the workshop, like what you’re learning or who’s conducting it.
Example: "Attending a workshop. It's a pottery class, and I'm learning to make a mug!"
“Volunteering at a local charity.”
If you’re spending time helping a local cause, then this response is ideal. It shows your philanthropic side and can serve as a platform to talk about the charity you’re supporting and why it’s important to you.
“Planning a surprise party.”
This tells people that you’re organizing a fun event for someone else. It shows you like making others happy and enjoy spending time with friends or family.
“Joining a book club discussion online.”
This reply proves that you like books and enjoy talking about them. It shows that you love to read and are keen on sharing ideas and learning from what others think. It also indicates your adaptability to the online world, especially in times of social distancing.
“Taking a walk at the park.”
Walking in the park suggests you’re taking time to unwind, enjoy the scenery, or exercise. This simple activity is a healthy, relaxing way to spend your time.
Tip: To keep the conversation going, you can share something interesting you saw or experienced during your walk.
“Enjoying the outdoors.”
This phrase is a good response if you’re outside appreciating nature. It can cover a variety of activities, from hiking to bird-watching. Sharing this can lead to discussions about favorite outdoor activities, places, or even wildlife encounters.
“Heading to a yoga class.”
If you’re on your way to stretch and meditate at a yoga class, this phrase is perfect.
“Cycling around the neighborhood.”
If you’re out and about on two wheels, this is your answer. Cycling can mean you’re getting some exercise, exploring your community, or running errands in an environmentally friendly way.
Tip: Be ready to share your favorite cycling routes or tips for safe cycling.
“Bird watching at the park.”
This is the phrase to use if you’re at the park, binoculars in hand, looking for feathered friends. It suggests you have a keen interest in wildlife and you enjoy peaceful activities. You might be asked about the most interesting bird you’ve spotted.
Example: "Bird watching at the park. I spotted a red cardinal this morning!"
“Picking fresh produce at a farmer’s market.”
If you’re shopping for fresh fruits, vegetables, or local products, use this phrase. It indicates you appreciate fresh, locally-sourced food. Expect questions about your favorite vendors, the best season for shopping, or even your favorite recipes.
“Going for a swim at the local pool.”
This is the perfect answer if you’re about to dive into a pool for some laps or simply cool off. It shows you’re active and enjoy water sports. Be prepared to answer questions about your swimming skills or favorite swimming spots.
Did You Know: Benjamin Franklin invented swimming fins. He was an avid swimmer all his life and even proposed swimming as a mandatory part of the education curriculum.
“Preparing for a camping trip.”
Saying this means you’re getting ready to spend time outdoors, sleeping in a tent. This shows you enjoy adventures and being in nature.
Work and Professional Activities
“Just finishing up some chores.”
This is an honest reply that shows you’re making sure your home environment is tidy. It shows that you value cleanliness and organization. When you say this, the person might even share some of their own housekeeping practices or recommend useful cleaning gadgets or products.
“Just about to start a meeting.”
Telling someone you’re preparing for a meeting conveys a sense of professionalism. It’s also a subtle way of indicating that you have to end the conversation soon. This can inspire the other person to ask about your job or the nature of the meetings you usually have.
Example: "Just about to start a meeting. We're planning our marketing strategy for the next quarter."
“Getting my car serviced.”
Sharing that you’re attending to your vehicle’s maintenance needs shows you’re responsible and value safety. This might prompt the other person to talk about their own vehicle or experiences with car servicing, giving you a common ground to further the conversation.
“Working in the garden.”
This response hints at a love for the outdoors and a hands-on approach to leisure time. It might encourage the other person to share about their own hobbies, whether they’re related to gardening or not. You may also find yourself discussing different plant species or gardening techniques.
“Designing a website.”
Revealing that you’re engaged in website design indicates that you have skills in technology and creativity. This can intrigue the other person and lead them to ask more about the website’s purpose, your design process, or your career in general if it’s related to your profession.
“Preparing for a presentation.”
Announcing this shows you’re engaged in something significant and could imply a level of expertise in a certain area. It could lead to a conversation about the presentation’s topic or even elicit advice or shared experiences about public speaking.
“Mentoring a new colleague.”
If you’re playing a mentorship role at work, it showcases your leadership skills and your willingness to help others. The person you’re speaking with might inquire about your mentee or share their own experiences with mentorship, either as a mentor or a mentee.
“Setting up a home office.”
By stating this, you reveal that you’re adapting to a work-from-home setup. It can initiate a dialogue about the challenges and advantages of remote work, tools or tips for productivity, or even the design and arrangement of a conducive workspace.
“Collecting donations for a charity event.”
If you’re involved in charity or volunteer work, this response highlights your empathy and commitment to giving back to the community. It showcases your altruistic side and your willingness to put in the effort for a cause you believe in.
Studying and Learning
“I’m reading a book.”
This simple phrase shows that you’re in the middle of enjoying a good read. This can lead to a deeper conversation about the book’s content, the author, or even your favorite books or genres.
Tip: You can share the title and author of the book you're reading, which might lead to a discussion about favorite books and authors.
“Currently learning (insert topic/language/skill).”
This phrase suggests that you’re upskilling or brushing up on something new. The other person may appreciate your dedication to self-improvement and might share their own learning experiences or offer some helpful resources.
Example: "Currently learning Spanish. I'm hoping to be fluent by next year."
“Studying for an exam.”
If you’re preparing for an upcoming test, this is the perfect response. This can lead to conversations about the subject you’re studying, and the other person might even offer some study tips.
“Trying out a new hobby.”
New hobbies can be fun and exciting. If you say you’re starting a new hobby, others might want to know more. They might even join you or give you advice if they know about the hobby.
“Trying to solve a puzzle.”
This could be a crossword, jigsaw, or any other puzzle. When you say you’re solving a puzzle, it’s like you’re playing a game. Others might want to help or just chat about it.
Did You Know: The world's largest jigsaw puzzle, according to Guinness World Records, has over 551,232 pieces and measures 14.85 x 23.20 meters.
“About to start a new book.”
This phrase shows you’re excited about a new book. You could end up talking about books you like, and you might get or give book recommendations.
Example: "About to start a new book. It's 'Dune' by Frank Herbert, a classic science fiction novel."
“Trying out a new language app.”
Using this reply indicates your interest in language learning and self-improvement. It also shows that you’re tech-savvy and open to utilizing modern tools for education. It speaks volumes about your desire to expand your horizons.
Writing and Content Creation
“Writing in my journal.”
Writing in a journal is a way to think about things and write down your feelings. If you say you’re writing in your journal, it shows you’re in a thoughtful mood. This could lead to a deep talk.
Tip: If the person shows interest, you can discuss the benefits of journaling, like improving memory and enhancing self-awareness.
“Doing some creative writing.”
Whether you’re writing a short story or a play, this phrase means you’re using your imagination. Others might want to know more about what you’re writing.
“Writing a letter.”
Writing a letter takes time and care. If you say you’re writing a letter, people might want to know who it’s for or why you’re writing it. You might also talk about why letters are special.
“Creating content for my blog.”
If you’re involved in producing material for your web page, this would be an appropriate response. This could lead to a discussion about your blog, its topics, and your blogging journey.
Did You Know: The term "weblog" was coined by Jorn Barger in 1997. The shorter version, "blog," was later coined by Peter Merholz in 1999.
“Recording a podcast episode.”
Making a podcast lets you share your ideas or stories with many people. If you say you’re recording a podcast episode, others might want to know what your podcast is about.
“Experimenting with a new coding language.”
This could start a talk about computers, different coding languages, and what you plan to do with your new skills. Learning to code is a valuable skill in our digital age.
Example: "Experimenting with a new coding language. I'm trying to get the hang of Python."
When you write a poem, you’re putting your feelings into words. If you say you’re writing poetry, it shows your creative side. You might end up talking about what inspires you, your favorite poets, or what you like to write about in your poems.
Family and Personal Life
“Spending time with family.”
This is a warm, inviting response to the question. It shows your priorities and the importance you place on family bonds.
Tip: Use this as an opportunity to express your joy or share a funny story from your family time.
“Just returned from a trip.”
This response gives you a chance to share your recent adventures and experiences.
Example: "Just returned from a hiking trip in the mountains. The views were absolutely breathtaking!"
“Enjoying my coffee.”
The simple pleasure of a good cup of coffee can be a shared experience with others. This response can lead to a discussion about personal preferences for coffee, favorite coffee shops, or even the importance of taking time for oneself. It’s a gentle way of sharing a personal moment while inviting others to share theirs.
Example: "Enjoying my coffee. I recently discovered a local blend that's just amazing."
“Waiting for a friend.”
This answer could start a talk about who your friend is, why you’re meeting, and what you’re going to do. It’s a way to share stories about friends and activities you like.
“Planning my week.”
Sharing that you’re planning your week can demonstrate your organizational skills and your proactive approach to managing your time. Others might want to learn from your planning skills.
“Taking a break from work.”
When you say you’re taking a break from work, it tells others that you know it’s important to rest. This can start a chat about how to handle stress and stay productive without overworking.
Did you know: Taking regular short breaks increases productivity.
“Phoning an old friend.”
This answer can lead to more discussions about your friendship, past shared experiences, and the importance of keeping in touch.
Example: "Phoning an old friend. We met in college and have kept in touch ever since."
“Checking in on my investments.”
Discussing your active engagement in personal finance can indicate your practical and forward-thinking characteristics.
Tip: If you feel comfortable, you could share a tip or insight you've learned from managing your investments.
“Just about to take my dog for a walk.”
This answer provides a sense of your daily routine and opens up potential discussions about pets and their benefits.
“Tutoring my younger sibling.”
This answer shows that you care for your family. It could lead to talks about the ups and downs of teaching, sibling relationships, or family life.
“Giving my cat a bath.”
This response can give a humorous twist to the conversation, as anyone familiar with cats will know the challenge it can present!
“Creating a budget.”
Saying you’re making a budget shows you’re careful with money. This can start a chat about how to handle money and plan finances.
Tip: You could mention a budgeting method you find helpful, like the 50/30/20 rule.
“Getting a head start on holiday shopping.”
This response could lead to chats about holidays, gift ideas, or shopping. It’s a way to share your holiday preparations and maybe find out shared interests.
Did You Know: The term "Christmas creep" refers to the trend of holiday shopping starting earlier and earlier each year.
“Taking a nap.”
This response can invite a conversation about health, wellness, and the importance of rest.
Fact: A short nap in the mid-afternoon can boost memory, improve job performance, and lift your mood.
“Packing for a weekend getaway.”
This answer lets you share your excitement about your trip and what you plan to do. It could lead to chats about favorite places, travel stories, or travel tips.
Example: "Packing for a weekend getaway. I'm heading to the coast for some beach and sunshine."
“Planting in the garden.”
Gardening is a relaxing activity that many people enjoy. Sharing this can lead to discussions about different types of plants, gardening tips, or how you find gardening beneficial.
“Trying to beat my chess high score.”
This answer shows your competitive side and that you like to think strategically. It could start a chat about strategy games or even a friendly chess competition.
“Going through old photos.”
Sharing this activity shows you enjoy memories and personal stories. It could lead to chats about past experiences, family histories, or important life events.
“Investigating my family tree.”
Talking about your family tree can be interesting. This might lead to talks about family history or where your ancestors came from.
Fact: Genealogy is the second most popular hobby in the U.S. after gardening.
“Trying a new makeup tutorial.”
This can lead to discussions about beauty tips, favorite makeup brands, or the latest beauty trends.
Example: "Trying a new makeup tutorial. Ever since I discovered contouring, it's been a game-changer for my makeup routine."
“Rehearsing lines for a play.”
Your engagement in theatre can be a conversation starter about the type of play you’re in, your role, or your interest in acting.
“Brushing up on my foreign language skills.”
Sharing this not only tells what you’re doing but also opens a window to your love for languages and learning.
“Prepping for a garage sale.”
This could lead to a discussion about decluttering, the value of second-hand items, or fun finds from garage sales in the past.
“Sketching a portrait.”
If you’re sketching a portrait, it shows you’re creative. It could lead to a chat about art, your journey as an artist, or the subject of your sketch.
Tip: Keep a sketchbook. It's a great way to track your progress and ideas.
“Organizing my art supplies.”
This response gives an insight into your art practice and the behind-the-scenes of your creative process.
“Designing a new piece of jewelry.”
If you’re crafting jewelry, it can lead to discussions about design, materials, or the inspiration behind your work.
Fact: Jewelry-making dates back thousands of years. The oldest known jewelry pieces are beads made from shells, which are about 100,000 years old.
“Making a scrapbook.”
This answer could lead to a conversation about the memories you’re preserving or your favorite scrapbooking techniques.
“Blowing glass as a part of a new artwork.”
Glassblowing is a unique and interesting craft. Sharing this activity can stir curiosity and lead to an engaging conversation.
Fact: Glassblowing was developed by the Phoenicians around 50 B.C.
“Experimenting with a new painting technique.”
If you’re trying a new painting technique, it shows you’re always learning in your art. This could lead to a chat about different types of art, the process of creating, or the fun and challenges of trying new things in art.
Example: "Experimenting with a new painting technique. I'm trying out impasto, where paint is laid thickly on the canvas for a textured effect."
“Composing a new song.”
If you’re into music, this is a great answer to share your passion and possibly discuss your songwriting process.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can this question be perceived as insincere or just small talk?
Like many common questions in social interaction, “What are you up to?” can sometimes be used as a form of small talk or a polite greeting rather than a genuine request for information. However, this largely depends on the context and the individuals involved. If you feel the question is sincere, you might respond with more detail.
Is there a cultural aspect to answering “What are you up to?”
Yes, culture can affect how this question is interpreted and answered. In some cultures, the question might be taken literally, requiring a specific response about current activities. In others, it might be seen more as a polite greeting than a genuine inquiry. It’s important to be aware of these cultural nuances in cross-cultural communication.
What if the person asking “What are you up to?” is someone I’m interested in romantically?
In this case, you might want to use your answer as an opportunity to signal interest and deepen the conversation.
You could mention an activity you’d like to share or ask them about their interests. For example:
• “I’m planning to check out the new Italian restaurant in town. Would you like to join?”
• “Just reading a fascinating book. How about you? What do you like to do in your spare time?”
What can I do if I find this question intrusive?
If you find this question too personal or intrusive, you can respond vaguely or change the subject. For instance, you could say, “Oh, the usual,” and then ask a question about a neutral topic.
And there you have it! A variety of ways to answer. The next time someone pops that question, don’t hesitate to give an engaging answer.
You might be sparking an enriching conversation, strengthening a relationship, or even imparting knowledge.
Stay curious, stay interactive, and embrace this question as an invitation to bring your unique experiences and perspectives to the table. Happy chatting!
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