Do you find yourself saying “I’m okay” and “everything’s fine” just to avoid having to say how you really feel?
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/2013 Singular Communications, LLC.