The Common Phrase That's A Big Red Flag For Hidden Unhappiness

What are you hiding?

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Have you ever heard someone utter the phrase, "I'm fine" (or something similar) but had a sneaking suspicion it wasn't the full truth? It's hard to stop and inquire further — after all, if someone says they're fine, they probably believe they are fine. 

And what's wrong with being fine? And listen, there is nothing wrong with being fine. But this phrase, when used too often, often means someone is not actually fine. 


The Common Phrase That's A Red Flag For Hidden Unhappiness

On the Open Relationships: Transforming Together podcast, host Andrea Miller got deep with author and speaker Mastin Kipp. Despite coming from a very wealthy family (the DuPonts), Kipp spent many years telling people he was fine, even though he wasn't. And he wants others to stop pretending they're fine when they're not.


Why? Well, because this can lead to dissociating from your emotions

Kipp explains, "And I'm very good at dissociating, not paying attention to not feeling, not having my feelings turned on. But I'm also not living a fully alive life."

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But then, how do you live a fully alive life? It starts by befriending our uncomfortable emotions. And I get it, you don't want to hear it. Because acknowledging our emotions is pretty uncomfortable. But that's where the growth happens.

"But it's no different than going to the gym and saying, I have to go work out," says Kipp. He continues, "And it's hard, right? Like, you don't get to have a strong, fit, healthy body without doing hard work repetitively over time. The same thing is true with emotional muscle."


We have to learn to build our emotional muscles and increase their range. We need to learn how to experience the positive, the negative, and the uncomfortable, all while staying regulated and in control. 

But as Kipp points out, "There's a fear of emotion, and a lack of awareness and understanding how to navigate those emotions." And if we are being honest with ourselves, there is a certain peace staying in the known, even if the known is actively harming us. 

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But understand this: regardless of what you choose, there is always a huge price to pay. There is a price to pay if you choose to continue dissociating. But, there's also a price to pay if you decide to step out of that comfort zone.

Kipp says, "And that I think that it's unfortunate that that, that so many people are willing to pay the price of avoidance. Because that, that known [feeling of being] comfortable, life is it it's safer even if it's inferior."

The first step to doing this? Understanding our nervous system, how it holds up, and how it expresses trauma. 

"if you don't understand how your nervous system is operating," says Kipp, "if you don't understand how the nervous system [of the other person] is operating, then you don't understand how they're interacting." Without that? You don't know what's really happening between the two of you. Are you being honest with one another? Are you being confrontational? Overly guarded? These are all nervous system responses. 


Heal Your Nervous System

This starts by acknowledging the past. Kipp says, "And so a big piece of healing your nervous system and then certainly growing is learning to express things to yourself that you were not able to express to others growing up and being having that be okay with you."

Don't get me wrong, this isn't easy. Revisiting your past is hard work and traumatizing in itself. However, if we shut down the past then we can never pave the way for our future. 

So, understand what parts of yourself you want to get rid of. Look at those tough emotions that are holding you back. Then, go from there. 


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Marielisa Reyes is a writer with a bachelor's degree in psychology who covers self-help, relationships, career, and family topics.