Demand More Than “Fine”
“Okay…. what’s wrong?”
“Nothing, I’m fine.”
“Are you sure? Because you don’t seem fine.”
“Well, I’m fine.”
How many times have you had or heard this kind of conversation? Does it make you cringe? Heck, in my 20’s, I think I must have invented the word “fine”. But, you and I both know that with an answer like that, it isn’t all ‘fine’ beneath the Surface. Of course, the ensuing (or days prior of) cupboard/door slamming, curt answers and/or deafening silence are more than enough clue that something is definitely not ‘fine’. Unfortunately back then, I was pretty good at the whole silent act, along with the occasional cupboard door that closed, well…rather abruptly, shall we say. Not exactly my proudest moments in life, that’s for sure. So why did I do it? Probably for the same reasons that others do it. Not ‘wanting to get into it’…again! I was tired of trying to express my feelings and of feeling unheard. We ALL want and need to feel heard. I wasn’t looking to be right or for the other person to agree, I just wanted my piece to be heard. And, it wasn’t. Time and time again, it wasn’t. I was “just too sensitive”. Oh boy! That phrase still ruffles my feathers to this day. So, guess what I did?! I just stopped trying to communicate and went into ‘fine’ or self-preservation mode. Not a smart decision on my part and it accomplished absolutely nothing. Zip. Zero. Nada. Who wants to live like that? No one, that’s who! And, to boot, I stayed in the relationship. Yoy! as my Baba would have said. What was I thinking?
You know, my ex-boyfriend and I spent a good two to three years in that unproductive cycle of ‘fine’ until it was clear that it wasn’t going to get better, and we finally parted ways. Painful to say good-bye, but also a relief to get out of a very dysfunctional, unhappy situation. Thankfully, a very powerful life lesson came out of it all, as is usually the case, and my ineffective means of dealing with issues changed immediately as a result. I wasn’t about to repeat that lonely, anger-filled pattern again, for love nor money. Uh-uh!!! That was enough time for me to get the point and I had no desire to go back and revisit that one. EVER! I am proud to say that ‘fine’ is no longer in my vocabulary, in that regard anyway.
So, the next time you hear the word ‘fine’, dig deep to get the real answer, either from yourself or from the other person. Otherwise, you might find yourself in the same negative cycle that I found myself in. Set the standards high with respect to communication in ALL relationships, for your own sanity and the sanity of others:-). It’s worth it in the end and you, everyone, DESERVES to be heard. No matter what.
Meanwhile, enjoy this video of what real love is….