Why do we do this? I’m guessing that most of us say it because we don’t want to show our real emotions, perhaps out of pride or because we don’t want other people to feel sorry for us. A lot also depends on who’s asking. Do they really care about you or is it someone who’s a casual acquaintance and you think they’re asking the question automatically rather than being genuinely interested in you and how you’re feeling. Whoever it is, if you feel uncomfortable with their question, don’t feel obliged to give more than a short answer, giving little away.
I wouldn’t usually advocate keeping your feelings to yourself but in this instance, self-protection comes into play and it can be best to keep your true feelings to yourself. You can always answer with something along the lines of “Oh, I’m just getting on with things. How about you? How are you doing?”
But there will be times when you really want, even need, to talk and most people who ask are doing so out of genuine concern. Finding some sort of balance is often the best way forward; in other words, maybe start with telling the person “I’m finding it hard at the moment but trying to get through a day at a time. Maybe we could talk about it more one evening/next weekend”. Trusting the listener is a big part of talking about the issues that are causing you problems. You need to have confidence in them and this takes time – you might take a couple of weeks to tell them the truth about what’s been happening for you but that’s okay. Bearing our souls isn’t easy but keeping things buried inside doesn’t help. Eventually they erupt, often when we’re least expecting it.
So tell your trusted friends and say what you need like some space, time to vent or a companion to go walking with rather than going alone if that’s what you usually do. Most of us need human contact, not just physically but emotionally so that we don’t’ feel so alone when life is hard for us. This is the start to saying how you feel rather than always telling people that you’re fine – give it a try and see how you go.
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#anxiety #familyrelationships #stress #self-esteem #workonyourself