When a woman says “it’s fine”

• What can it mean when a woman says ‘I’m fine’ or ‘it’s fine’?

Libby Supan, MA, LMFT:

FINE = Frustrated Insecure Neurotic Emotional

It doesn’t mean much literally because “fine” is not a feeling. A woman (or any gender) will respond to “I’m fine” when typically asked “How are you?” or “How are you feeling?” “Fine” doesn’t answer their question.

“Fine” can also have a lot of meaning behind it depending on the tone of voice it’s said in. If it’s a disgruntled “fine” then you can assume the person is feeling a negative emotion and if it’s said with excitement, they’re probably doing great.

“Fine” can be an easy way to answer “how are you” because you’re not saying much. Part of my job as a therapist is to help my clients with their feelings, which can be challenging for a person who’s never expressed their feelings. Maybe they grew up in a house where feelings weren’t accepted or you always had to act happy or “fine”.

How I respond to this answer from someone (client or friend): “How are you really feeling?” or “Since fine isn’t a feeling word, what is it that you’re actually feeling?

*Here are some Tik Tok videos I made using the word “fine” and the 3rd link is the original “fine” song.




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