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Mental Health

The Problem With “I’m Fine”

I’ll say “​I’m fine​,” while my mind slowly rethinks every single stupid thing I’ve said throughout the day…

I’ll keep saying “I​ ’m fine”​ when my friends ask me why I’m quiet but what I’m really thinking about is my personal stress (or demons) IDK man. . .

I will always say “​I’m fine​” when I’m the farthest from fine. . .

More often than not when someone asks how we’re doing, we’ll say the same phrase: “​I’m fine.​” even if we’ve had the worst day, or we’re really struggling with something. Why do we give such a meaningless answer?


1. I say “​I’m fine​” when I don’t know how I’m actually feeling

Sometimes we say everything is fine when it’s hard to pinpoint how we’re actually feeling, and instead of trying to explain this to someone, we just go for the easier answer. Being “​fine​” is just a safety net to avoid further questions and uncomfortable feelings.

2. I say “​I’m fine​” so that I don’t burden others with my feelings

Imagine walking to your dorm after a really hard day and you see a friend. She’s so excited about something that happened that day, and after sharing all of her excitement, she genuinely asks how you’re doing. Despite having a really stressful day, you don’t want to bog her down with all your feelings, especially when she’s doing so well, so instead, you just answer with “​I’m fine​.”

3. I say “​I’m fine​” because other people have it so much worse

There are times when it may feel hard to share with a friend because they might be struggling with some very serious problems. Your stress may come from the number of tests you have and trying to find your dream job while she may have very serious family problems going on, so instead of sharing, you opt to say “​I’m fine​” because your struggles seem lesser than her’s.

I promise that​ I’m fine​.

The biggest lie you could tell me when I ask you how you’re doing is to say “​I’m fine​.”

  1. Sometimes it takes talking to someone else about what is going on to truly understand what and why you are feeling a certain way.
  2. Do not ever feel like you are burdening others with your struggles. True friends want to be there for you in both the joyful moments and stressful moments. You will never be a burden to them.
  3. Struggles are struggles. Just because someone is going through something big in their lives doesn’t diminish the fact that you are also struggling with something. Our struggles still affect us, and therefore you can’t discount them. Do not ever feel like you can’t share with someone because your struggles are “smaller” than your own.

It’s terrifying to open up to people and to be vulnerable, but at the very least just try to be honest about how you’re feeling. Instead of saying “​I’m fine​,” you could say “things have been stressful but I’m making it through.” Don’t fake it, be real with them. I’ve learned that being vulnerable with people is the scariest but the most rewarding thing ever. It helps strengthen and grow friendships while also helping you feel less alone in your struggles.

“I don’t like the words ‘I’m fine.’ My mom tells me those two words are the most frequently told lie in the English language.” -Kasie West

Cassandra Shin currently serves as the President of Her Campus at Baylor and is a senior majoring in Professional Writing & Rhetoric at Baylor University. She was born and raised in Austin, Texas and enjoys the constant live music around the city. When Cassandra isn't studying or in class, you can find her on spontaneous adventures with friends, performing, tending to her plants, learning new things or reading. She absolutely loves the Harry Potter books, meaningful conversations with people, spending time with Jesus, and writing.
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