Why you should stop saying “I’m Fine”

The more that I blog, the more I realize that words often negate the deeper meanings in life. Instead of feeling an emotion, we like to label how we feel as “happy” or “sad”. While language is great, the real range of emotion is much more than what a simple word can describe.

How many variants of “I’m fine” can you think of? There is the shallow one, spoken quietly and reserved. While the next could be stern and show the speaker doesn’t want to talk about their emotion. Often at work I pass coworkers in the hall who ask me how I’m doing. Neither of us stop to continue the conversation but instead reply with “I’m good” or “I’m fine”.

What does “good” mean? When you say that you’re doing fine, what is “fine”?

When we say this out loud, it’s to simplify conversation. Saying that you’re doing “great” is easier than explaining why you feel great. However, many of our conversations aren’t spoken aloud anymore. When you write that you’re doing good, you negate a greater meaning.

Let’s take a look at a simple conversation:

“Hey, how are you doing?”

“I’m good, you?”

“I’m doing fine.”

Now that we don’t have body language, we don’t really know how you are. Are you “fine”, meaning that you don’t want to talk about it? Or are you “fine” as in your day is neither good or bad? This is why it is important to use a wider variety of words.

Personally, when somebody asks how I’m doing, if I’m in a good mood, I say that I’m doing wonderful. This shows that I’m happy. If I said that “I’m good”, I could be alright, fine, mediocre, or a wider variety of other emotions. By using a word that is slightly less common, I’m able to better communicate with others.

Online, by using a broader vocabulary, you are better understood by other people. You can fill your writings with “everyone”, “anywhere”, “a place”, or generic substitutes like these, but your writing will be uninteresting.

Don’t write “we went to a new place today”, say “Today, for the first time, we went to _____ (specific place)”. Instead of writing “my sister’s friends came over”, word it like this, “my sister’s friends _____ and _____ came over”. While too much specificity is boring, when you write with greater detail, you make it much more personal.

Now that I’ve explained this to you, notice it in your own life. When you’re waiting in line to check out and the cashier is asking the person in front of you about their day, watch their interaction. Maybe they’ll say “I’m doing well” or “I’m alright”. When it’s your turn, switch it up and describe how you feel; “It’s hot outside, but I can’t complain” or “My sister came to visit, so I’m doing great!”.

What you’ll notice is that when we use more uncommon replies, people better understand how we are. They’re more likely to respond and interact with you and to talk about themselves. It stimulates conversation and makes like flavorful! Just try it and you’ll see a change in your life!

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