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Everybody says I am fine

Everybody Says I’m Fine, But How Much Of It Do We Really Mean??

The most frequently used and socially accepted phrase that is also the most common ice-breaker!

Does an impromptu “I’m fine” or Howdy” or a “What’s Up” actually help socialize and empathize or it just shuts the window even tighter?? Each one of us say these lines at least once a day, but do we really mean it?

There are two distinct perspectives. One is of person who is asking the question and the other of who is responding. So, why do we even ask everyone that we meet, “How are you?” Perhaps to strike a conversation? Humans are social animals, We seek welfare of people that we know? We are being courteous? Really??

Let’s slice and dice the first perspective. That of the ‘asker’. Yes, we are slightly, yet genuinely concerned about the person. But, don’t you think, deep down, we have our self-centered reasons? Sub conscious is a great chef. It cooks but we never feel the burn. Even I was as alarmed and embarrassed the first time I had this revelation, as much as you feel while you read this. Truth be served, all our ears need is an assurance and that is “I’m fine”. Humans oppress change and the environment’s status quo is our comfort zone. Still don’t agree, right? Let me explain with an example.In Rancho style from 3 Idiots’.

You see your maid in the street and you ask her “Kaisi ho?” And what if she responds something like this? “Kya batau didi, pati ko bahut bukhar hai” or “Arrey didi chori ho gayi ghar pe”. Disturbing, isn’t it? What pops in your mind? She might ask for some financial help or you cook the next meal(s). The sub conscious rolls a picture of chopping vegetables viz a viz sending last minute tracker to boss. Interesting part is that we can sense it, not see it. Thus, we also seeks an “I’m fine” as a response.

Perhaps, you want to defend my analogy of Maid bunking work as we have direct dependency on a daily basis. However, if we give it a deep and honest thought, same is applicable for a friend or neighbor or relative or our colleague. We are rationally programmed to maintain our peace of mind and balance our eco-system rather than being concerned about actual state of mind of the person in question. In a way, it is good as we are sending positive signals to the universe. But is it in line with what Rhonda Byrne teaches. Are our concerns deep enough to manifest changes?

Now let’s come to think from the perspective of the person answering the question. Have we ever pondered if the person is really doing great or she just wants to exit the discussion quickly or more serious, is she trying to hide behind the simplicity of the answer? What is it exactly?? Let’s see it by ourselves.

Space Defense

Personal space might be a broken record for many of us but unfortunately, it’s existent. Our relationships and profession alters our personalities into onion rings. So much so, that people in today’s times, in the name of SPACE don’t want anyone to peep in their houses as well as their mind. We just want to keep everything to ourselves, so much that we don’t have a confidante to share our true feelings.

A lady who might be facing domestic troubles, bad behavior from in-laws will flash a brilliant smile and say the clichéd words that she is fine to everyone she meets. She thinks people are more interested in gossips rather than her real well-being. Disagree with me on this? How about the Page3 and celebrity gossips being the hottest trends? Because humans keep finding some source of entertainment, sometimes at the cost of others. Hence, she thinks it’s good to keep to herself.

Ego or Emotions? – An ongoing Tom and Jerry show

Let’s admit it. Depression is the destination of a journey of being indecisive between our ego and emotions. This tussle is becoming so big that our closest relationships are also becoming very formal (sic. professional). A teenage girl prefers committing suicide rather than confiding in her parents that a man has taken her objectionable photographs. Had she mustered up that courage, the result would be different.

Sadly, being brought up in the lap of Karan Johar movies that make them benchmarks for emotions, we have forgotten what it really means to be emotional. Not just for adults but as well for kids. Almost everybody is finding solace in social media, online chat rooms and forums because they know they wouldn’t be judged. Instead, why can’t we have one true friend- mom, sister, spouse, anyone? With whom we could discuss what bothers us? Aren’t we creating walls so tall and so thick that we ourselves are suffocated? Venting personal feelings online could’ve worse repercussions. Mind it, not every online chat results in a ‘You’ve Got Mail’ ending. The best way is to find a real person who you can trust


We might fool our sub-conscious by saying “All is Well!”. But, it won’t go a long way. Back in days when we were young, families were big, there were many people available to speak to when needed. And stress was something that occurred only on concrete structures. Non-Availability of people is also one of the major reasons. We are sold well the thoughts of not piling other people with our problems and emotional tsunami. Unfortunately, keeping these things to ourselves is creating bigger problems. The thinning personal time in rat race age has finished the old forms of recreations- Weekend tea with Gupta Ji and his wife, family doctors visiting us and checking our well being, Pandit Ji coming home for matrimonial alliances and Satyanarayan Pooja. In a nutshell, people are replaced by mobile phones and Apps. Those people, who would always be available in every walk of your life. We don’t share much, we just represent well!! ‘Looking good’ precedes ‘feeling good’. Don’t you think it’s a trap??

Confession Box Theory!

Ever wondered why churches have had Confession Boxes forever. Or for that matter of fact, Big Boss chahte hai k aap confession room mein aaye? Humans need to communicate, bounce off their thoughts, validate them and confide. Unless, we are not doing it, we are headed to a major apocalypse.

So, what’s the solution? Let’s become a confession box for a person and make another person ours. There is no right or wrong in the question as well as in the answer. We might keep telling the world that we are fine. But having one confession box solves it all. That one person in our life with whom we can be honest, open and share everything. Most of the times, all we need is a pair of ears to hear & that solves the whole problem. Let’s earn those ears for ourselves. Only then, we could be really free! And yes, truly say- I am fine!!

This Post Has 16 Comments

  1. Alpana Deo

    Bang on Ujjwal. “make another person ours.” That’s the trait which is becoming tough to find. People don’t have time for other people, their patience level, attention span and interest in what other want to say is going down. That human connection is assurance that “you are not alone” is lost somewhere

  2. Deepika

    Exactly we don’t mean most of the time because as you mentioned we don’t want to be judged or questioned. Expressing what we feel is now a difficult term and you are right we cheat our subconscious mind sometimes by saying All is well. But in reality, it is not.

    1. Anahita Irani

      Time for introspection when we reply I’m fine. Yes, butbthen do we want the world to know about our personal lives and family issues. It is definitely cheating our subconscious mind.

  3. Ruchi Verma

    Really in today’s world, it’s important to understand and the emotions …proper communication with one whom you love!!

  4. Cindy Dsilva

    I think it’s okay if we say I’m fine to everyone because mostly people just ask how we are out of habit. If we have someone who listens to us then it should be fine. I like to be myself around certain people.

  5. Dr Bushra

    Agree we all have close our emotions under so many layers and fears to open up. But this is high time to share our emotions with others

  6. MeenalSonal Mathur

    Certainly there are times where we don’t want to discuss things with strangers or matter of fact with friend, we just want few selected members to listen to us without any judgements.

  7. Niharika

    Yes, we must have at least one confession box to rain out all bottled up emotions. A good read!!

  8. Jhilmil

    I’ll acknowledge, it’s a big trap. Though we might be in pain, but we always present ourselves at the happiest best. We’ve lost that human connection

  9. Tina Basu

    It is important to communicate and share the pain sometimes. We all do this at some point or the other. Probably we are living in denial or trying to live up to the “perfect” image created by society.

    1. Varsh

      My version of I’m fine changes with the person who is asking. With near and dear ones I can be honest but that doesn’t hold true for acquaintances. It is ok to accept if something is wrong.

  10. Alpana Deo

    We are not always okay but we cannot say it clearly to everyone. That time saying I am fine is okay. But when someone who really cares asks us this question then there is no harm in opening up. We should have a few of such people in our life with whom we can be ourselves.

  11. Mayuri Nidigallu

    I am glad you brought this out, Ujjwal. Fine may be a small word, but it is so layered. Sadly none of us have the inclination of probe deeper when someone says they are fine. Good post.

  12. Dipika

    This has many facets to it, I like and respect your point of view but for me it is not easy to share the real emotions with everyone. Hence, I too keep on ‘I am good’, ‘hey wssap’ conversation to minimum.

  13. Snehalata jain

    Seriously we never say that I’m not well until it’s really sick, we always say I’m fine and this means that we don’t give priority to our health emotionally

  14. princy

    I learned to communicate my feelings the hard way. it was very tough to open up, but I realized it was fr my own good. women especially, need to understand this.

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