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The University of Southampton
Enabling ServicesPart of Student Services

Are you really just "Fine"?

Published: 30 November 2016
I'm Fine
A recent study shows that the average adult will say "I'm Fine" 14 times per week.

If someone asks you how you're feeling, how often do you give an honest answer?

A study of 2,000 adults commissioned by the Mental Health Foundation has found that the average adult will say "I'm fine" 14 times a week, though only 19% really mean it. Almost a third of those surveyed said that they often lie about how they're feeling to others, while one in 10 went as far as saying they always lie about their emotional state.

While it may appear that most of us are happy openly discussing our feelings, these survey results reveal that many of us are really just sticking to a script. This creates an illusion of support. On the surface, we're routinely checking in with each other but beneath that, many of us feel unable to say how we're really feeling.

The people around us in our lives are crucial for our mental health. People with strong connections live happier, heathier and longer lives than those without. That's why we all need a healthy network of friends and family who we are comfortable to confide in when we need to.

Next time someone asks "how are you?", try going off the standard script and say the truth instead of "I'm fine" and see how a more meaningful conversation unfolds.

Check out the video below or visit the Mental Health Foundation's website for more information on the "I'm Fine" campaign, or to sign up for text tips on mental health.

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