This is a personal piece. Please be trigger aware when reading.
There are many things I say to people that actually hide my true feelings. I might say things so others don’t get upset or so that I don’t feel a burden to those around me. I decided I would share some of the things I say a lot that actually hide my true feelings, and what I really mean. I am sure I am not alone in this.
1. “I’m fine”- How many of you when asked how you are come out with these two words? I bet the answer is a lot. And I am just as bad at using this phrase even when things are far from fine. “I’m fine” covers a multitude of feelings from being suicidal to being anxious. When I say I am fine, I am normally very far from being fine but want to hide it from those around me. In fact my GP stopped asking how I am as this would always be my answer and it his what was really going on for me. I use it because I don’t want to burden those around me with my problems or for them to think I am always down. I have got better at being more open about my feelings but with certain people I still use it a lot.
2. “I’m tired”- This is very much my go to answer when people can see things aren’t right with me. I always blame it on tiredness, which to be honest isn’t a total lie as I usually am tired but there is also a lot else going on. I think people see it as more socially acceptable to say “I’m tired” than to say “I’m depressed” and this shouldn’t be the case. We should be able to express how we’re really feeling without fearing judgement.
3. “I’ve been up and down”- I use this phrase a lot when I have been low for a while to imply that I am not constantly down. This is normally quite far from the truth and I am in a pit of depression that I can’t see a way out from. I say it though to give others, and myself, hope that I won’t always be in this dark hole. A lot of people will grab on to the “ups” though, which I think is natural, but it can make things harder for me. I then feel I need to pretend to be OK when I really am not.
4. “No worries”- Another phrase I use a lot, normally after people have apologised to me for something, for example not being in touch. I do it to make other people feel better and like it doesn’t really matter, but often I am hurting inside. I say it however because I don’t know if I should be hurting as much as I do and so want to come across as laid back about it. Sometimes this is dangerous as it makes it look like I don’t care when the opposite is true.
So those are a few examples of what I say versus what I really mean. I have got better at not hiding behind those phrases but it can still be difficult. Do you have any phrases you say when you mean something different? Please share in the comments or on Twitter.
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