Most of the time when someone asks us, “How are you?” We respond, “Fine. How are
you?” This is all good and dandy in our normal, rushed live
s. However, someone recently explained to me that “Fine” really means “feelings in need of expressing”. I have to agree.
If we truly want to be known and to know others deeply, we have to get past “fine”. We have to be vulnerable and truly answer the question, “How am I?”
This can be difficult and scary. It is hard because it means stopping and checking in with ourselves. It is difficult because sometimes we don’t really know how we are doing. It can also scary be because we don’t want to go there….to that vulnerable place where we have to acknowledge messy feelings.
However, with the people that we want to be close with, the people that we want to know intimately, we have to open that door and try to find a more authentic and honest answer than ‘fine”. We have to be aware of what feelings are in need of expressing. By doing this we allow our relationship intimacy (or as a friend recently put it, in-to-me-see). We also give ourselves a break from pretending that we are “fine” and own up to our successes, joys, loves, our pains, fears, and disappointments.
So, the next time you answer, “fine”, ask yourself, “Am I really fine or are there
feelings in need of expressing that would allow me to grow a more intimate relationship with this person?”
– by Lily Maino, M.S.