African Americans; Stop Saying “I’m fine” When you’re not.



( Do you know what I was doing recently? I was remembering my conversation with people. I was scrolling through the messages I sent when someone asked me how I am doing. I observed that whenever someone asks me this question, I respond to nearly everyone with “I am fine.” I realized that I have been doing this for a long time. Has anyone ever been feeling better than me?

Jokes aside, people probably don’t want to let everyone know about their feelings. There are many people out there who wear a mask and hide their true feelings. A family man has so much to give to others that he keeps masking his feelings all the time. Men who don’t show their emotions are considered strong, and we expect them to look strong, always.

Some men tend to be the one, the strongest person in the family, in the group of friends and among colleagues. In reality, they would be secretly dying inside but they always act as they are absolutely fine. Such people need someone who can truly see them and they know this very well. But still, they choose to keep going through the challenges and pain alone.

If you’re the one who never gives yourself permission to feel things and say you’re not fine, you need to be honest with yourself first. You do not want to share details of your life’s journey with anyone, that’s absolutely fine. But dear man, it’s time to break that “fine” habit and do this instead.

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Say “I’m fine” only when you truly feel it. We don’t like to express our true feelings in front of others because we don’t even allow ourselves to look at our feelings. We believe that not paying attention to such things will help us not feel in the same way again, but feelings don’t go away. They come back and catch us. Sometimes, our true feelings come out in some other form and even in completely unrelated situations.

You can’t be honest with others if you are not honest with yourself. So don’t beat yourself up and be honest with yourself first. Next time when you speak to yourself, know when you are feeling really good and when you’re simply lying about your feelings. Do not keep the pain hidden at least not from yourself.

People take up many roles in family and community. When we don’t act or think according to how others believe we should, we start to feel the pressures others put on us. We treat their needs as our top priority and fail to acknowledge our own feelings. Sometimes, it’s the pressure that makes people work, but when it comes to meeting your emotional needs, you should first listen to your feelings.

Hiding your feelings just because you need to meet someone else’s expectations is like carrying a burden you’re not responsible for. For how long will you do that? Why don’t you just try to give yourself some freedom? Be authentic and expect genuine demands from your loved ones. Remember, valuing yourself doesn’t mean that you are being selfish.

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When we speak the truth about our feelings, we express what our heart truly wants us to say. That feeling brings joy and satisfaction to the heart. People around you will surely try to put pressure on you because many of us have programmed our brains to accept default answers. It will be hard for people to hear your honest expressions like “I had a bad morning, but I think I will feel better after completing my work.” Maybe after saying this, you’ll get to hear some questions or somebody will tell you how negative you sound when you say that.

As mentioned before, people love to hear answers they expect because they are also wearing a mask. They do not want to accept a new way to respond to things. When you express your true feelings, it shakes their thought process because deep inside they are doing just opposite. They also want to get something off their chest, but it’s not easy for them also.

There’s nothing wrong with accepting your feelings so don’t hesitate in sharing the truth. You don’t have to act or pretend because nobody is always strong. Humans have their limits and there is no need to apologize for being a human.

Staff Writer; Ronald Jackson

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