You aren’t an aggressive person by nature. You have a pretty genteel way about you, and you even slip the word genteel into conversation every now and again. You know they mean well, but if one more person asks you how you are feeling or if you are okay, you may just hulk out and SMASH!
When I was on dialysis, people would ask out of sincere concern,”Hey Jermaine, how are you feeling? You doing okay? You need anything.” I know they meant well, but I found myself playing hopscotch with the truth, hopping around how I actually felt to give a seemingly polite answer. “I”m okay. I’m fine. I’m hanging in there.” Truth was, it took every ounce of willpower to have gotten out of bed, showered, dressed, and stand in front of you.
So what was the alternative? “Actually, I feel like I might pass out or vomit…or both which is just nasty. My muscles are constricted so tight from cramping I don’t think I can actually move. Excuse me, my brain is so clouded from the fatigue and over the horror of I fell asleep on the drive here I really need to have a seat.”
Does this happen to you? Do you feel like lying as to not go into detail of how you actually feel? Because telling the truth would invite a very awkward conversation you know you don’t want to have.
I came up with a fantastic answer in these situations. I used it quite a bit, and I’ll share it with you:
“I’m not okay, but I will be”
This phrase helped so much it was amazing. It acknowledges that yes, I am not doing well, which you could probably tell just by looking at me. It also gave an indication of the future because hey, I may just feel better in an hour or so. I might just challenge you in the Cha-Cha Slide in a day or two. (Everybody clap your hands!)
“I’m not okay, but I will be” can be applied even if you don’t feel sick. If you feel depressed or lonely or really not in the mood for a conversation, you can use it and people usually pick up what you’re putting down.
“But what about that person who won’t take the hint and insists you talk/share/spill your guts to them right then and there?”
Well, maybe they are asking for them more than for you. God knows, I’ve had a messiah complex from time to time. A smile, a thank you for caring and removing yourself from the situation may be in order for Mr. Let Me Save You. If that doesn’t work and you do SMASH, it’s okay. If someone doesn’t heed the lion’s roar, they can’t get mad if they get the claws and the teeth.
Try it out and let us know in the comments how it goes for you. You take care and try your best not to go off on someone, they mean well. They really do.
Written by: Jermaine Jay Lane
Photo by: Navaneeth KN via Flickr and a Creative Commons License