The absurdity of these words smacks me in the face every time I hear them.
Because let’s be honest here – no one (particularly no girl) who answers a question with “I’m fine” is actually fine.
Which is just plain stupid.
Now, I’m a girl, I’ve been guilty of this. Hopefully not terribly often, but it’s happened. And I repeat, it’s just plain stupid.
Because what “I’m fine” actually means is this:
“I’m not fine, but I’m going to wait for you to figure out what’s wrong, because you should be a mind-reader, and I’m actually insulted that you haven’t paid attention to every minute detail of my behavior in an attempt to decipher what it is you’ve done to make me so upset. You should already know.”
Communication is the key to any successful relationship, and passive aggressive behavior is the cloud that rains on the parade of communication. It’s sort of the equivalent of posting something on facebook like “oh my gosh, i’m so miserable, this awful thing happened that I can’t even talk about …” as a way of baiting people to ask you what the terrible thing is. And if you don’t ask? Well, shame on you. Because clearly you should. Because you’re supposed to. Even though that makes absolutely no sense. Even though you were expressly told that the person DOESN’T want to talk about it.
There are a few situations in which answering “I’m fine” when you’re really not is appropriate. For example, at a large gathering where you don’t want to make a scene. If you’re at someone’s party and you’re distressed over a fight with your significant other (particularly if alcohol is involved), that would be the time to tuck away you issues and save them for a time when you’re not going to end up in a screaming match that will ruin the party for everyone else. A simple “let’s talk about it later” will also suffice.
“I’m fine” is also acceptable when you know the irritation you’re feeling is temporary, and therefore not really worth discussing. If the issue is something that you know will roll off your shoulders in a matter of moments, then just let it go.
But if you’re really not fine and someone asks? Just be honest.
Because very few people are mind-readers. It’s a fact of life. Dating someone for a long time does not give them the ability to read your mind, even if you think it should. And when you take a minute to realize how much time you spend thinking about yourself and how you feel – and then realize that everyone else spends just as much time thinking about themselves and how they feel – you can’t honestly be surprised when they don’t notice the subtle signs you’re trying to give that you’re upset.
And really, it’s just mean to make your boyfriend (or girlfriend) try to guess why you’re upset. Making them feel bad for believing you when you said you were okay really only tells them that they can’t trust what you say to be the truth.
So next time you’re about to answer “I’m fine” when you’re really not, think about it.
Try some open communication.