When we walk through the countryside or an everyday work or social setting, many enjoy exchanging pleasantries as we pass one another. Hello, and how are you? We ask with a smile most of the time. Then, we unconsciously follow up with, ‘I’m fine, thank you, how are you?’. Learn When you aren’t fine, why say you are?.
The non-question that was asked might yield a surprise if there were any other responses. Sometimes, we don’t even wait for the reply before continuing on our way with this polite greeting.
However, what happens when we say we are fine when we aren’t? We are frequently told we should share our feelings with others and that we need to be able to ask for help when we’re down. Yet, how should we do so?
Asking how we are in context is essential. Was there a quick nod of recognition in response to this question, or was more interest shown throughout the exchange? How did you spend your time together? Where did you go next? If you want to start disclosing your struggles, is this a good time and place, or would you rather wait until a future meeting?
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We often think that staying quiet is the easiest thing to do, although doing so can increase stress levels, tension, and unhappiness. There may be no reason for the way we feel, we may lack the words to explain what’s happening, and we may feel frustrated by our low-spiritedness. It can be helpful to journal about our confusion or talk to someone else about our feelings.
Our survival arsenal may include the ability to act like everything is fine. Providing us with a welcome veneer behind which we can hide every day allows us to function at a daily level. Our feelings would make us uneasy about falling apart and fearful of how we would recover afterward if we were honest.
We are also concerned about exposing ourselves to the world. Information about messy or distressing periods of your life can never be retracted once broadcast. Even if someone cares about us, is interested, and supports us, what happens when we meet in the future; will our relationship change, and if so, is that alright?
When we’re depressed and out of sorts, offering verbal clues can often help begin a conversation. We’re not the happiest we have ever been. Comments like, ‘I’m okay, thanks, not too bad, surviving, I’ve been better, I’m getting better’ reveal how unhappy we are! A response could prompt the other person to ask if we’re okay or perhaps suggest we grab a coffee. They may, however, follow up depending on how busy they are, how they are feeling, and whether they are inclined to support you.
Do you have a close relationship with them? By sharing your struggles, do you want to risk changing the dynamics of the relationship? By saying what is going on when you’re asked how you are, are you ready to risk changing the dynamics of the relationship? When our situations become the opening topic of conversation every time we meet, it can become annoying. It can sometimes be good for us not to talk about our problems to avoid becoming immersed in them constantly.
Will that person be trustworthy? Will that person be trustworthy? Several hours after revealing their most intimate concerns and anxieties, nobody wants to hear about them on the local gossip show. When we’re not feeling well, feeling able to confide in someone, and having that share received in a supportive way, is an essential element.
If we need a little caring friendship, it is ultimately our responsibility to share. However, we must first be in the correct mindset to ask someone if we have time for a chat and feel comfortable enough to let someone know that we are feeling low and need a buddy. In addition, don’t take it personally if they respond that they are too busy to talk now, but they will get in touch and speak later.
Clarify your requirements as well. Do you need advice, someone to listen without comment, a friend, a hug? Everyone knows what to do by doing that.
It would help if you also kept in mind that we’re not we. It’s no doubt that the other person has their own experiences, concerns, and issues. Allow them time to express their viewpoints as well. You may also find that speaking to a doctor or seeing a hypnotherapist can provide you with the professional support you need on your path to feeling better.