I consciously try not to say I’m busy to others these days. And if I must, I often use it to indicate that I cannot have that conversation at the moment and then offer an alternative time for that conversaton to happen.
Because “busy” is a lazy and terrible reply when someone asks how you’re doing. If anything, it’s a word that should be used to indicate the very present state of your being which makes it more apt as a reply when people need to know if you’re currently occupied with a task or not.
But when someone takes the time to ask how you are and “busy” is the reply, it signals disinterest since the question often really means, “How have you been since the last time we spoke or met or caught up?” leaving that single word to mean that in the vastness of time between then and now you have been so occupied by things and are still, in fact, so occupied that the courtesy can only able to be reciprocated with a single word.
We are all busy.
But when one person takes the time to create and sustain a bond and the other graces it with such a dismissive word, then let’s hope the person is busy saving humanity.
And perhaps one should not bother them with such unimportant conversations.