Kalamazoo, MI
one-hundred-forty Years of Service to the Student

Voices

Not Telling the Truth: Exploring Self-Worth and Being “Fine” 

Graphic by Sarena Brown

We all know the script and how to play our parts. We learned the scene in Kindergarten. It starts like this: I pass you in the hallway and you ask that question.  I say, “I’m fine! You?” You say you are doing great. And so it goes with each person who says that opening line, all day, every day until we leave this earth.

Just know, I am anything but “fine” while you are anything but “great”.

Personally, I am sick of lying, I’ve been doing that since I first learned to speak. From this moment forward, I am consciously erasing the word “fine” from my vocabulary, unless I’m using it to do with someone’s appearance.

By saying “I’m fine” I am just ignoring my truth and keeping people who care about my well-being out. I am trying to become more aware and respectful of my own thoughts and feelings, and when asked “How are you?” I will say how I truly feel.

This is not to say I will pour my heart out to everyone and anyone who asks that question. However, I am making the decision to not lie about or discredit my emotions any longer.

I have found that by saying “I am fine,” I am belittling my self-worth. I have a tendency to believe how I feel is not how I am supposed to feel, and that my emotions are frivolous.

I once sat in my guidance counselor’s office for two hours while I talked about everyone else. My counselor told me over and over again that my emotions are valid and whatever I feel is how I feel and that it is okay.

She told me that I am valid and worthy. Before that experience I have said those words to others, but never to myself.

So we might cross paths soon, and instead of replying apathetically to your “how are you?” I might say, “Oh, I’m not doing so well today,” or “Actually, I am feeling really good.” This will be my quiet way of telling you my truth, and opening up our world to yours’.

I am not just “fine” – I am valid, and so are you.​

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Not Telling the Truth: Exploring Self-Worth and Being “Fine”