Quite often someone I vaguely know will ask me "Are you alright?" I always assumed I looked like I hadn't slept in weeks (which might not be far off) or that I looked as if I was about to burst into tears (also possible). I finally realized that "Are you alright?" is the equivalent of "How ya doin?" or "Whas up?" I no longer try to reassure people that I am not actually on the edge of a breakdown when they ask me if I'm alright.