Editor's Blog

A Small Resolution for a Big Change

January 6, 2013
By Kim Calvert

Do you find yourself saying “I’m okay” and “everything’s fine” just to avoid having to say how you really feel?

A Small Resolution for a Big Change

Image credit: nyul / 123RF Stock Photo

I’ve never been enthusiastic about celebrating the end of one year and the beginning of another. I’m not one to stay up until the stroke of midnight to toot a noisemaker and kiss a lot of strangers. As for resolutions? No way — well, at least until now.

I’ve been thinking that maybe this particular New Year really could be a new beginning. Not with a list that includes the ever popular “lose 10 pounds” or “go on more dates” — but something more expansive that would have a bigger impact on my life — like making a decision to stop saying something is okay or fine when it’s really not.

That’s because “I’m okay” and “everything’s fine” are things I say a lot. Not because I’m stating a fact but because such innocuous statements create a comfortable blur between me, you and my true feelings. After all, what does “I’m okay” and “everything’s fine” communicate besides nothing much at all? It could mean you’re content, satisfied, ambivalent, detached, uninterested or more likely, unwilling say how you really feel about a situation or yourself.

So this year my goal, or, if you must, “resolution,” is to stop saying “I’m okay” and “I’m fine” when in fact I’m something entirely different.

It seems to me that expressing my true feelings would dissolve a lot of barriers between me and other people, and keep me on a track with my true plan and purpose in life. What might be hiding under there if I had the courage to say how I really feel?

1)   It’s not fine that you still owe me $100 but spent $650 on a new pair of Jimmy Choo shoes last weekend.

2)   It’s not fine that you’re chronically late and leave me waiting at least 20 minutes every time I agree to give you a ride.

3)   It’s not okay that you expect me to work late because I’m single and you’re married and your husband is at home waiting for his dinner.

4)   It’s not okay that you RSVP’d to meet me at that event; double-confirmed that you would be there and then didn’t show up.

These are just examples, but you know what I’m talking about — those things we brush off and dismiss because we don’t want to be confrontational, don’t want to have a discussion and don’t want to look like we’re not being “nice.”

So this year, even if I don’t actually do it in every situation, I will be aware of how I really feel before “I’m okay” or “everything’s fine” slips out of my lips – and hopefully I’ll say how I really feel instead, or at least say it more often.

If I could keep this resolution, I wonder how different my life would be at the end of 2013? There would likely be fewer people in my circle of friends, but certainly the ones who remained would be worth having. I’d be closer to having the right companions, the right job and the right destiny. And maybe I’d really have something to toot my horn about at the stroke of midnight on January 1, 2014.

Copyright © Kim Calvert/2013Singular Communications, LLC.

Kim CalvertKim Calvert is the editor of Singular magazine and the founder of the SingularCity social networking community. A single lifestyle expert and an outspoken champion of single people everywhere, Kim oversees the creative direction and editorial content of the magazine and online social networking community. She secures high-profile contributors and is responsible for setting and maintaining the fun, upbeat, inspirational and often humorous tone of Singular, the magazine for successful single living.
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  1. Brad Stauffer says:

    Great article Kim! I can relate to often saying “Okay” when it’s not always okay. Saying what I really feel has always been difficult for me, but the older I get, the easier it gets. I’m learning more and more that people really do want authenticity, honesty and realness from others. Thanks for raising the awareness!

    • Kim says:

      Nice to hear from you Brad! I agree that people do prefer to see/hear the authentic you, not the “nice” you — meaning all of us.

  2. Marie says:

    I don’t like to lie, but I don’t want to get into details. So when I’m really feeling low, for example, grieving for my dog who died a few months ago, I say, “Trying to be ok,” “Hanging in there,” or “Status quo,” followed by a smile.

  3. Mike says:

    Kim,

    I applaud your resolution.

    In my humble opinion. responding with “I’m fine” too often is a defense mechanism . When we use that reply, I believe that, all too often, what we are actually portraying is that we want an end to the conversation and that we do not want to pursue the discussion any further.

    Unfortunately, a response of “I’m fine” may be masking an implicit “cry for help.”

    Thanks for “listening.”

    Dr. Mike

    • Kim says:

      Thanks for your comment Mike. In this short piece I was referring those times when we’d like to say something, but instead, take the easy way out and just say “okay” or “It’s fine.” Not everyone who asks “How are you?” wants to hear the whole story nor should they.

      • Mike says:

        I see what you mean, Kim…more like a “rhetorical” question.

        It reminds me of when people we meet ask us “How are you?” and then keep on walking without waiting to hear the answer. Maybe just a “hello” would be more appropriate.

        Mike

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