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A: “How are you?”
B: “I’m fine” (forcing back tears)
A: “You sure?”
B: “Yea, I’m fine” (forces a smile)

I’m so sure this sort of conversation is not strange to us at all. We’ve all probably had something similar. Well, if you haven’t, I for sure definitely have. We’ve probably been in situations whereby we are really down and sad but when someone comes around and asks about our welfare, we lie. Yes, we lie to them and say we are fine even when it’s obvious that we are far from fine, and after the conversation, we go back to our shell and cry our eyes out when no one is watching, wishing we had someone to talk to. But guess what, that someone just asked, but you lied.

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You want to talk to someone so bad about whatever it is that’s responsible for your sad mood. You want someone who cares enough to listen to all your problems and understand your mood swings. Why then do you lie when someone asks if you are fine. Why is it so hard to say “I’m not fine”? This is a big question that has always crossed my mind and I’m still not sure I have a perfect answer to it. However, I have a couple of reasons why this is so.

To be honest, most people just asks that question out of courtesy. They don’t really care about your welfare, they don’t even wait for a reply before they move on to the matter at hand. No wonder we don’t bother to give a detailed answer because the default answer “I’m fine” seems sufficient enough. This is probably the most common reason why we find it hard to answer truthfully how we are doing.

Another reason is the inability to talk about our situations. Some people find it so hard to discuss how they feel. Putting their feelings into words seems like a arduous task, so they just settle for the convenient answer which is “I’m fine” with a fake smile on their faces. Unfortunately, not everyone is able to see that the fake smile is just a facade. It usually takes someone who cares a lot or patient enough to bring out the real answer out of these set of people.

Sometimes we don’t want to bother anyone with our issues so we just keep it to ourselves. And other times, we just want to desperately convince ourselves that we are fine when we are not hence we lie to everyone about it. No matter what the reason is, the point still remains that this is not healthy.The more you pretend to be fine when in fact you are not, the more it gets hard to overcome whatever it is that is responsible for that attitude.

Sometimes we really need to be honest when asked how we are doing. This is not to say that you should go about telling your boss, or the storekeeper or the guy next door your life problems when asked the conventional question; “How are you?”. What I’m trying to say is that those friends of yours who always seem to care deserve a bit of honesty. Next time they ask “how are you”, be truthful to them and don’t just settle for the easy answer. Studies have shown that talking sometimes helps and trust me, you would feel way better once you talk about it with someone who cares.

So next time you ask that friend of yours “how are you?”, don’t be quick to believe when they reply with “I’m fine”. You know them well enough to figure out when they are lying about their welfare. Probe a little bit further, who knows, they most probably need that little push before they can confide in you. We all need someone who is always going to listen to us lament about how we are not fine.

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