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Open Your Heart: Stop Saying You’re Fine When You’re Not


It all starts with a simple question: “How are you?” Then, you put that fake smile on your face and murmur through your teeth: “Oh, I’m fine, and everything is perfect.” In fact, deep inside, you feel miserable. You just want someone to hug you knowing that you don’t feel that way.

However, people expect you to be positive and strong. Always.  To me, it sounds like they will rather put their pink glasses on and live in a fantasy world than accept the reality.

Let me share my story with you. I’m a person who always radiates with positive energy. People see me as someone who has no worries. In fact, like everyone else, I’ve been going through challenges and pain, but I don’t talk about it. That’s who I am.

I never go out without my smile. But what’s happiness if we don’t share it with someone? I like when people around me are in a good mood. Therefore, I’m doing my best to bring some joy, support, help, and make them happy.

However, happiness is temporary, just as pain is. I vividly remember the period when my whole world fell apart.

I didn’t feel well. I felt like I was losing the ground under my feet. Still, I was walking around with a head held up high and a shattered smile. Why? Simply because I didn’t want to see how people look at me greatly disturbed by my real feelings that I’m not fine.

Simply because instead of understanding, encouraging, and helping me on my journey, they would give me life lectures on positivity and talk about how I should always respond in a positive way.

It was always like that. People saw me positive and strong and made me feel uncomfortable… but then, I got fed up with everything: “Who cares about how people see me anyway! What about my feelings? Does anyone care how I feel at all?”

This led me to think about what we expect to hear from others when we ask them about how they feel: do we seek to hear the well-known answer “I’m fine”, or we want an honest, real response? Do we care about people’s feelings and want to help them, or we judge them?

Now, when I don’t feel well, I don’t put a mask and pretend like I do. You should do that too. You don’t have to hide behind your mask.

It’s ok to have feelings. It’s ok to practice a deep, meaningful, real connection with people and express your true feelings. It’s ok to be kind to yourself and not sweat about how your response will affect people. It’s ok to live in a reality and accept your present situation.

Reality is not always sugar and sweets. It can’t be. Reality often hurts. But guess what: You’re not weak. It is totally fine to be in a bad mood and feel sad as we are human beings, not heartless machines.

Image: peterchung09