We’ve all used the phrase. Chances are that you have probably said it at some point this week. People will ask you how you are doing and you will used the vague phrase “I’m fine” . Which really means that you aren’t doing well.
It seems like a response that is perfectly okay…which I suppose it is but it is also disingenuous to me. It means normally that there is something that isn’t great; something that is nagging at a person that they want to talk about but cant.
I am purposing that you learn how to eliminate this phrase from your daily life so that you can move past it and into the hard issues that need to be disguised. This doesn’t mean that you need to get aggressive. It is just something that you can view as a catalyst instead a disguise to have real, open communication with your partner, friends and family.
Fine is just…well fine. Having open communication can be difficult and not all people communicate in the same way. There are subtle difference in the way that people speak and communicate that can be learned with time and attention. But without time and attention…well we are doomed to let whatever is turning great into “Just fine” linger and fester.
Instead of using the words “I’m fine” When someone asks you how you are, try to answer with something a bit less…vague (Or in some cases even passive aggressive. Don’t look at me like that. You know you’ve done it.). A genuine answer will always solve more problems.
Try this on for size:
“Hey, how are you doing?”
- Actually I was hoping to talk to you about something I was hoping we could work on.
- I’m doing great actually! Its a beautiful day; the sun is out!
- I’m feeling a bit down today actually. Would you like to come with me to do something to boost us up?
- I’m actually really stressed out. Do you mind chatting later?
While some of these might sound a bit harsh, its better then being passive aggressive and with people like your friends and partner, you should be trying to be as honest and open as possible.
By getting rid of this and phrases like these, you do open yourself up to a bit more venerability and of course in a work situation you have to be careful in how you phrase things like this. But in the end you will often find that the other person is having the same concerns or even better, knows that you are and asked because they genuinely want to help.