This next guest spot is from a dear friend of mine I had the pleasure of meeting online this year and working with. In continuing to work with her, I got to know her more and more each day, learning about her disability and what life likes for her. If you havent read any of her blog yet, please head over to Undercover Superhero and take a look around. I promise you’ll find something that intrigues you.
The phrase “I’m fine” is one of the most popular answers to respond with when asked about how we are feeling. But do we actually mean it? If no, then why do we use the phrase as a default response?
A recent poll I conducted on Twitter shows that out of 108 people, who took part in the poll, 52% of them use the phrase and mean it between 0% to 25% of the time. There are so many reasons as to why that is:
It’s Easier To Hide How We Really Feel
I’m sure that many of you will agree that we often feel like a burden when we open up and feel anxious about the other person thinking or saying “What have you got to be down about?”, “Things could be worse” or something similar. There is still so much stigma around mental health which also causes us not to express how we are truly feeling. The lack of understanding and empathy towards one another is something that I, personally, think that is the main issue with regards to replying with “I’m fine” as there are some people who just do not or choose to not understand mental health.
“I’m fine” is definitely a lot easier and quicker to say rather then going into detail about how we actually feel. Then again, this can coincide with the fear of how others react to when we open up. Also, it could just be convenient to say if you were to quickly acknowledge a passer-by in the street or something.
If like me, you have a variety of conditions, it can get pretty exhausting repeating ourselves to different people. As a result, this is where convenience ties in making the phrase an easier and quicker response.
The fear of causing others around us to worry. It could possibly be due to the fear of finding out who our true friends are and how supportive they are.
27% Of People Use The Phrase and Mean It Between 25% > 50% Of The Time & 19% Of People Mean It Between 50% > 75% Of The Time
This is interesting. As you can see, the less of the amount of people who use the phrase, the more of the chance they actually mean it. Personally, I think this is because people are in the process of realising who understands mental health and those that choose to ignore it.
Is It A Test Or Cry For Help?
Do we reply with “I’m fine” to test others? This could explain the process of finding out who truly care about how we feel. On the other hand, it could be a cry for help, which will also let us find out who care enough to be supportive.
3% Of People Use The Phrase and Mean It Between 75% > 100% Of The Time
I’ve been thinking long and hard about why only 3% mean it between 75% and 100% of the time. Here are my thoughts:
The person has surrounded themselves with those who are supportive and understanding which enables them to open up rather than just saying “I’m fine”.
I think the person is comfortable with being honest, regardless of the situation or outcome, therefore they are completely honest with each person they come across. Or the person does actually feel fine.
Do you use the phrase as an automatic reply? Or do you truly mean it?
Author bio: Ami is a disability Blogger who writes about her recovery and talks openly about living with multiple disabilities. Her blog, UndercoverSuperhero is a place where she attempts to look at life more positively. Ami has a passion for volunteering and a strong love for superheroes. She aims to raise awareness of disabilities, illnesses, mental health illnesses, etc and has an ongoing series called “The Reality of…” which enables fellow bloggers and readers to raise awareness of the conditions they live with. You can find her on Twitter and Facebook.