When someone asks you how you’re doing, the response “I’m fine” might be the go-to answer. It’s a socially acceptable response that doesn’t require much thought or explanation. But what happens when you say “I’m fine” even when you’re not?
Self-abandonment is the act of ignoring your needs and feelings in favor of pleasing others or avoiding conflict. When you say “I’m fine” when you’re not, you’re essentially ignoring your own feelings and needs in order to make others feel more comfortable. You’re sacrificing your own emotional wellbeing for the sake of social acceptance. This isn’t always a bad thing. But if this is a habit, or a subconscious behavior, it can be harmful.
The problem with saying “I’m fine” when you’re not is that it can lead to a cycle of self-abandonment. When you consistently ignore your own needs and feelings, you’re sending yourself a message that your feelings don’t matter. This can lead to a lack of self-worth and self-esteem. It can also lead to a pattern of suppressing your emotions, which can have negative consequences for your mental health and how you connect with others. Saying “I’m fine” when you’re not can prevent others from being able to support you. If you’re always pretending to be okay, you’re not giving others the opportunity to be there for you.
So why do you say “I’m fine” when you’re not? There are many reasons. It could be that you don’t want to burden others with your problems. It could be that you’re afraid of being judged or rejected if you’re honest about how you’re feeling. It could also be that you’re not in touch with your own emotions and don’t know how to express them. Whatever the reason, it’s important to recognize that saying “I’m fine” when you’re not is a form of self-abandonment. It’s denying yourself the opportunity to be heard and supported. It’s also sending yourself a message that your own feelings and needs don’t matter.
So what can you do instead? It’s important to start by getting in touch with your own emotions and needs. This can be done through practices such as journaling, meditation, mindfulness exercises, or therapy. Once you’re more in touch with your own feelings, you can start to practice being more honest with yourself and with others. This might mean saying “I’m not okay right now” instead of “I’m fine.” It might mean asking for help or support when you need it. Engage with your partner on this issue and ask for their support.
Turn toward yourself, honor your needs, and know that you deserve to take up space.