The third and fourth phrases Rabbi Riemer encouraged people to say more often were “How are you?” and “What do you need?”. Rabbi Telushkin explains that by asking these questions we take into account the person we are addressing as an individual, and not in their relation to us.
Conversely at present in France, people tend to say “tu vas bien?” which more or less corresponds to “you’re fine?”. This leaves very little room for the person we are talking to to say no and explain what is wrong. Unwillingly we are sending the message that we just want to be polite and go on with our own life without taking the risk of being disturbed by something we might not want to hear.
I find the second sentence more difficult to apply in my everyday life -except when dealing with people I am close to – but maybe this is because I am not trying hard enough.