All up in my feelings today: The “I’m fine” lie

I’m fine.

I would be really offended if someone stood in my face and called me a liar.  I would probably raise my voice “who the hell are you talking to?”  Or walk off and not answer the fingerpointer’s phone calls for weeks or…ever.  I am sure I don’t have to say much to conjure up your own feelings on such an experience.

With that said, I lie.  Don’t call me a liar.  If you do, keep it in your own head.  But, yes, I lie.  It’s whiter than a white lie and more transparent than thin air.  The lie I tell is obviously a lie.  It’s not delivered very well.  Sometimes my eyes fill with water or shift to the floor.  If I am trying really had to convince myself that I believe my lie, I will open my eyes really wide.

I’m fine.

Are you okay?  Truth:  I feel exhausted, overwhelmed, anxious, lonely, frustrated.  The lie I tell:  I’m fine.

This lie serves different purposes.  Sometimes to feel exhausted, overwhelmed, anxious, lonely, and frustrated seems ungrateful and pessimistic.  It seems like I am not acknowledging all of the AMAZING things happening in my life.  I just feel UGH about myself for feeling that way.  If I don’t say that I feel all of those things out loud, then I don’t feel so bad.

“I’m fine” keeps things light.  Sometimes I don’t want to get into it and I generally assume that people don’t want to hear it.  “I’m fine” is like a cordiality.  Keeping things copacetic and cool, light and palatable.

If you are a user of “I’m fine” then I am quite sure that you have your own reasons.  Not feeling close enough to the person asking.  Being on the verge or tears knowing that a discussion would open the flood gates.  Just wanting to move past the crappy mood that you are in.

I’m fine.  It’s rarely to convince yourself or someone else that you are okay.  It’s not a sort of self comforting.  It’s not even code for something.  It’s a flat out lie.  It’s bad acting.

And it’s a great opportunity for yourself and the people who are trying to crack through your tough, impenetrable exterior.

Are you okay?

I’m fine. 

No, you’re not, but I understand.  I can tell you now or wait until after you tell me the truth to tell you that it will be alright.  Then I will tell you how I know it will be alright.  

Based on an average of true stories.

One thought on “All up in my feelings today: The “I’m fine” lie

  1. Wow Stephanie! Great post. I can personally speak from experience and say there have been numerous times where I’ve given a “fine” response when everything in my mind felt the complete opposite. I think your story speaks to how most of us really feel at times. We’ve been trained to always give a pleasant response despite the personal issues we may be facing. And giving an honest response, like you explained, is the first step towards making things better.

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