Fine seems to be the most universal human emotion or emotional experience. When we are asked how we are doing, we answer with “fine”. What is “fine” really? Most often than not, it is not how you are doing. In fact, it is usually far from it. Fine is not a word complex enough to encompass what is the wealth of human experiences and emotions you are having at any given moment when someone asks, ‘Hey, how are you?’ Yet somehow the spectrum of humanity got stuffed into the tiny trope of a four letter word: fine. By definition, the word fine means “of high quality”, “thin”. As an adverb, fine means “make or become thinner”. It also means “in a satisfactory or pleasing manner.” In these definitions we can see the actual wisdom behind the answer of fine.
A Satisfactory And Pleasing Manner
Waiters at restaurants often visit our tables asking us how things are going. Though they don’t specify, we know they are referencing our meals. What if we were to tell them everything we are going through at that time, the reasons why we chose our dish, or why it is we look not so chipper. That might not be satisfactory to them, or pleasing. To let out all of our internal experiences to everyone who asks how we are doing is not considered pleasing. In fact, it isn’t even considered polite. Fine is satisfactory to social standards and expectations, but doesn’t satisfy what we really need as humans- which is to be heard and acknowledged.
Make Or Become Thinner
We are keenly aware of our emotions. Because society isn’t entirely interested in receiving our insecurities, fears, and doubts, we question how legitimate they are- creating whole new insecurities, fears, and doubts. What if people found out just how not fine we really are? Our problems- or just the sheer weight of who we are- could be too much for them. If we are rejected, all of those fears, insecurities, and doubts, are actualized. Instead, we compact and compartmentalize what we are going through. All that needs to be said is a simple “fine” to offer a response easy enough for other people to handle.
Arguing For Authenticity
Living authentically means owning and being present with your emotions at anytime without judgment. The more you live authentically, the more you can encourage others to do the same. You don’t have to be fine, you can be exactly as you are.
Avalon By The Sea is a place for healing and hope. Our goal is to help each client find balance and authenticity in their lives. For a confidential assessment and information on our programs of treatment for substance use disorders and mental health, call 1 888-958-7511.