I’m Okay: Among Other Lies

Hello again reader,

Have you ever said to someone “I’m okay.” And not really meant it?

Sure, you’re going about your day and someone passes you in the street or at work. Perhaps you don’t really think about it, and as they say “Hey! You alright?” Your automatic response is to go “Oh, yeah thanks, you?” Or something to that description… Because it’s almost a reflex. You may not know how you feel until you come away from that situation and think to yourself “How do I actually feel?” In most situations you are perhaps, honestly fine. But there are plenty of factors as to why you might not have said how you really feel.

Time – is there enough time to stop this person and go into your downward spiral?

Relationship – depending on how close you are with said person, might determine how reluctant or open you are to share how you truly feel. Let’s face it, it’s none of their business and they probably don’t really care anyway, am I right?

Taken off guard. What ever the case, it’s not as if you want to lie to this person. It’s just saying “I’m okay” rather than delving into the truth, is probably more beneficial at the time.

Wrong time, wrong place.

On the other hand, there are some people who suffer in silence about how they feel, as they don’t want to put their dilemmas onto others and cause that person stress or worry. These people are the worriers or the self-doubters that need someone to see past the façade and say “Look, I know that’s a load of bull, I’m here – talk to me.” To spend some time with that person and make sure nothing gets in the way. This is because you should know for a fact, that if someone rings that person or someone comes in and tries to put the attention onto them. The Worrier as I’m going to call them will automatically shut up, close up shop and say “Oh, it’s fine, you should go…[fill in the blank.]”  They don’t like to be centre of attention. Trust me staying with them and putting them out of their comfort zone for a while, will do more wonders and show how much you care than if you were to say:  “You sure? Oh, okay then. See you later.”

With things like social media, texting etc. people have become more comfortable saying things that they might not have been able to say in person. People now can say “I’m fine” *added smiley face for effect*  and not be detected that they don’t actually mean it.

If you are worried about someone you are close to my advice would be make the effort to meet up and talk face to face. You can normally tell when you ask someone if they are okay by their tone of voice and body language. Or if their behaviour/attitude has changed in any way towards you.

You might be able to help them open up and trust you to keep it from others. Now I’m not going to go into anything too serious in this post this time, so I’m mainly thinking about talking about having really crap day/week or being worried about something. Nothing too major. But with anything, it’s good to share a problem with someone you can trust. Though if it is really serious, seek help and advice from a friend or family member first and they can help you further. Don’t feel like you have to be scared and alone about something that is troubling you.

There are lots of psychological reasons for why people hide their feelings which range from sexual differences to not wanting to hurt someone by how you feel. Men and women tend to handle emotion differently but not all the time. Just as a man can get hot headed and lash out, so can a woman. Similarly if a woman just wants to get in bed and cry, a man could just as easily do the same.

Plus there are people in society that say “Men aren’t weak” and believe that showing feelings is a sign of weakness. I do not believe that showing how you feel can be in any way weak. Coming from a family background where feelings mean you are weak, annoys me and I want no part in it. Though I struggle sometimes too, because growing up with it, it’s hard to move away from the trait.

Generally, guys tend to say “I’m fine” and laugh and joke in a group of friends but behind closed doors they might be a mess. Women tend to be more emotional creatures and use their friendship group as an outlet for their emotions. They become stronger by sharing their feelings and getting the support that they need. Whilst men, tend to bottle things up until they just… explode. Or implode.

So, what can be done? If you are feeling horrid about something and want to tell someone. Don’t be afraid about how they might react. If they care about you, they should listen and be open to what you have to say. If they are insensitive about what you are saying, then they aren’t willing to listen to you properly at this point in time. Try not to be afraid of conflict, sometimes you have to stand up for yourself and express what you believe in clearly. If words aren’t your strong point and you fear you might forget something, write it down. It helps. Try to get a time when you and the other person can be in a quiet calm environment alone so that you don’t have to worry about other people intruding. It also helps to have the other person’s full attention.

Finally if what you are saying to someone is something they themselves have never been through, try not to expect too much from them. Unless they are really good at giving advice. You might hear the response of “I don’t know what to say.” Or just silence. Which I know can be quite frustrating because I’ve been on the receiving end of that far too many times. In addition to this, If they care, they will try to think of something anyway. But If they haven’t been through it themselves they might not hit the nail on the head with it. They will at least try to reassure you. Any attempt to help you is good effort. In which case, be as open and honest about the problem as you can be. Work on it together rather than asking them to fix the problem for you. No-one can fix your problem but you, but others can lessen the strain and get you on the right track again.

Don’t try to hide behind a fake smile it’ll be in vain, for your eyes don’t lie. Instead reach out for help and help will come, to lessen the impact and strive to make you shine on.

Until the next time.

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Lou-Lou Belle

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