The premise of being ‘ok’ has caused an ongoing debate between me and my partner. Whenever anyone asks me how I am the answer is always, by default, ‘I’m ok thanks, you?’. Standard response no? According to my partner this is not an acceptable response from me…he knows me too well…. but as I explain to him having anxiety generally makes me not good but not bad either, so surely I am ok?
Whether you have anxiety or not being ‘ok’, in my opinion, is one of the most mysterious replies you can give. Why? because there could be so many meanings behind it. You could genuinely be ok, nothing spectacular has happened but you aren’t feeling rubbish, you are simply ‘ok’. You could also be spectacular but want to hide it for some reason or another, on the other hand you could be hiding the fact that you are feeling spectacularly shit and don’t want anyone to know or talk about it. Or you just can’t be bothered to talk to someone…
For me I use the term ‘ok’ because normally I genuinely have no idea how I’m feeling and it’s easier than having to explain what numb, lost and confused means or put so much energy into feigning that I’m the most joyous person in the world! Surely ‘ok’ is a better response than pretending to be happy? It takes a lot less energy I can tell you that.
However…coming from my partners point of view it must be so hard and frustrating when all I say is ‘I’m ok’. For someone who genuinely cares about you surely more effort should go into answering how you really are not just the answer you would give a stranger in the street?
In summary I think you should give people whatever response you would like, however, for those who truly care putting that little bit extra into the answer of the dreaded ‘how are you?’ question might just help both sides out, yourself for being able to explore how you are feeling more (a scary and impossible thing I know) and allowing them to feel respected and needed.