”Hiding Emotions Makes People Less Likable:Stop Saying I’m Fine”

I’d rather be honest and authentic and disappoint some people than to exhaust myself trying to keep up the façade of perfection.” ~Crystal Painetoo_many_thoughts_____by_marjol3in1977-d4xapih

In casual conversations, we are frequently asked, “How are you?” The most common response to this question is “I’m fine.” But what if you’re not “fine”? What do you say then?

I won’t lie: I drop the “F-bomb” every once in a while.

But it’s not the one you’re thinking of. I’m talking about the word “fine.”

Why is the word “fine” so awful, you might wonder? Well, this measly adjective is more than just that.

When that word is used in tangent with the contraction, you enter a new realm of danger, one that’s defined by passive-aggressive behaviour and emotional reluctance.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re defensive by nature or just a little closed off: You’ve probably used the classic phrase at least once.


Maybe it was to avoid a mushy emotional conversation, or maybe it was to see if your partner, friend or colleague could figure out the extent to which they screwed up on their own. Either way, dismissing your emotions to encompass this one little line can take its toll.

The words “I’m fine” can fester in your mind, building up little grievances until they all finally add up.

Apparently, it’s better to just tell people how you really feel than to give an offhand, polite response to a question like “How are you?”

Crying woman with a smilling mask in front of her face

Researchers found that when people masked their feelings—even if they were trying to avoid sharing negative emotions with others—they were perceived as unpleasant, distant, less extroverted, and less likeable. In other words, putting on a happy face and trying not to dump your bad mood on your partner, friends or coworkers might actually backfire. So don’t do this, What people would rather hear? The truth. Imagine that! So instead of just saying “I’m fine,” you might want to try “Eh, I’ve been better.”

“It’s been a rough day” and “Not my finest hour” would work too. It might take some getting used to, but it can improve relationships between you and those around you. It might help benefit your mood too: Researchers found that holding back negative feelings only made participants more upset, and those who did this reported less satisfaction with their social life and a tougher time getting close to others.


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43 thoughts on “”Hiding Emotions Makes People Less Likable:Stop Saying I’m Fine””

  1. You are right about the close-up attitudes and I think most people adopt and feel safe with it instead of opening up, it’s because they’ve been hurt by those same listening ears they once disclosed to. We ought to learn how to start being considerate to people’s needs…

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  2. Using the response I’m fine, in and of itself, is not an evil of vernacular but a highly entrained psychological defense meant to protect the ego from unobstructed access to our emotional state and undue criticism of our inner toils. However, as a defense, it is not the most advantageous means to gain access into our emotional state. It also can act as a clear barrier to our relationships in that it does not allow a partner to connect with those inner workings of emotions needed to sustain healthy growth in a relationship. In the end, it boils down to a matter of trust, and this is where the moral of the story rests. If we can’t trust others to our inner emotional state then I am fine suffices. However, if trust or the capacity to access one’s emotional state is the problem, then you may be better served to break through this all to common psychological defense. Thank you for this article!

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    1. Ya you are right its all about trust, While part of trust is simply taking your partner’s word, these little indicators make it easier to know you’re in a loving, stable relationship. you are welcome 😀 Keep Reading Dr. Thomas Maple your feedback is valuablue

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  3. hey. great great read. Loved the post, mind checking out my page? emotions is my passion and its what I write about, thanks


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