Mental Health Month 2024 May 17, 2024

What to say when someone tells you they're fine, but they're not.

Fine. OK. Alright. We've all had someone tell us they were one of those things and known that it couldn't be further from the truth. Maybe it was the look on their face, the tone of their voice, or their body language that gave them away - or maybe you've noticed that they have been acting differently lately. Distress can show up in many ways.

Whether someone thinks they are doing a good job of masking their emotions, or they are obviously being sarcastic when they say that they're alright, it's normal to want to help them in some way. While what you say will likely be different depending on how well you know the person, here are some ideas for things to say to create an environment that encourages someone to open up about what they're going through:

1. "Are you sure? If you want to talk, let me know."

2. "It seems like something is bothering you. I'm here to listen if you want to share."

3. "I've been 'fine' before - I'm here if you want to talk about it."

4. "Do you want to (get coffee/go to lunch/grab a bite/take a walk) later? I feel like we have a lot to catch up on."

5. "That wasn't very convincing - I'm here if you want to chat."

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