Erin Shepard, a mental health therapist, helps us understand why “I’m fine” is one of our go to phrases when really, we aren’t fine. 

She brought four props to help us break down the “I’m fine” culture we are surrounded with.

  1. Mask
    • “I am fine” becomes something you can hid behind.
  2. Road block
    • When we just want to stop emotion, when we maybe are too tired, lost or don’t have the emotional tools to know where else to turn.
  3. Mirror
    • As a way to convince or pretend, when we are trying to convince ourselves and the world something is different.
  4. White flag
    • As a way to surrender, when we feel it’s a lost cause, so we become past feeling.

She encourages us to acknowledge our core beliefs and cultural influence. Our beliefs develop overtime and whether or not we realize it we all have core beliefs that monitor our behavior and filter our experiences. Such as appearing “well-kept” is highly valued culturally “I have to keep it all together”, “I am fine”, or “everything is fine” are phrases we all use. They aren’t necessarily the wrong thing to say, but we should know why we are saying them. 

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