10 Better Responses Than Just Saying “I’m Fine”

You’ve had the Worst. Day. Ever. It’s hard enough just getting through it, but then everyone seems to notice. They keep asking, “Are you okay?”

By Jessica Marie Baumgartner3 min read
10 Better Responses Than Just Saying “I’m Fine” shutterstock

All you want is to be left alone, or to drown in a bathtub of chocolate, but in order to keep yourself from losing it, you say, “I’m fine!”

Women are notorious for this. We don’t want to have a meltdown at work or when we’re out with friends or family. But there are so many better responses that can break the tension, allow you to ease up, or express yourself without having to pour your heart out in the moment.  

I prefer to joke and laugh things off. So if you’re feeling the pressure to be okay – even when you’re not – here are 10 funny ways to respond that might just make you feel a little better. 

1. “Will you bill me if I go into detail?”

This is an easy way of saying, “I’ve got a lot on my plate,” without having to unload all of it. It can be rhetorical or not. This is honest without having to be too honest. It also gauges whether the person asking how you’re doing is just making small talk or really wants to listen. 

2. “At least my phone is charged.”

When you don’t know how to answer and you’re afraid you might explode, this is a silly response. (But it only makes you feel a little better if your phone actually is charged.) 

3. “Am I old enough to retire yet?”

A hectic workday can lead to serious frustration. Just saying this can ease stress sometimes. And the responses you get from co-workers are usually witty. It’s a nice opening to discuss a stressful situation, or can be used as just a singular comment that gives you time to process your feelings instead of pretending everything’s okay.  

4. “Could you please present your question in the form of an answer because I don’t even know.”

Honest but also funny, saying something like this offers you a chance to openly admit that you don’t have to know how you feel, or want to talk about it. We don’t always know what’s bothering us or why we feel bogged down. You can admit that without having to dive into a deep emotional conversation. 

5. “Do you have any ice cream?”

Sure we don’t want to always eat our feelings, but this is my favorite way to let myself and others know I’m not fine right now, but I will be. Even when I’m having the worst day, joking around like this reminds me that there will always be little things to enjoy no matter how much we’re struggling with.  

6. “No one’s forced me to become a politician yet, so it could be worse.”

This is for my dark comedy lovers. Sometimes we just need to laugh, even at the harshest aspects of life. My mom is going through cancer treatments right now and joking around is what keeps her (and me) going. Some days you just need to stop and say, “Well, at least I haven’t fallen off a cliff,” or “At least I still have teeth.” 

7. “I just need a dozen puppy kisses.”

This is a cutesier answer that automatically makes me smile. I can’t even read something like this without imagining myself covered in sweet balls of fluff. And that just makes everything feel a little nicer. The power of fantasy and visualization can really offer a break from trying times. And sharing that openly is a nice way to connect with people, even when you’re not fully up for it. 

8. “Been worse. Been better. Been so much better I’m starting to think worse was better.”

Read that again. It’s a bit of a tongue twister, and kind of makes you think. It allows you the chance to shrug things off or confuse someone into leaving you alone if you just don’t want to talk about it.  

9. “Nothing some wine, a bath, 500 chocolates, and a nap won’t fix.”

I love this approach. It’s wishful thinking while also displaying that you’re in need of some serious healing/recovery from whatever is going on. It’s so relatable you can talk it out or just laugh at the fact that it’s probably true. 

10. “I’m doing better than a turkey on Thanksgiving.”

Okay, maybe I have holidays on the brain, but this works in so many ways. “Better than a fish on a hook,” “Better than Mrs. Claus the day before Christmas.” Sometimes you just have no energy to say what’s going on, and making outlandish comparisons offers perspective and a cheesy one-liner.   

Closing Thoughts

If you’re not “fine” you don’t have to say you are. It’s okay to not be okay, but how you respond could offer insight to people who care and allow them to offer support. Cracking jokes is much healthier than hiding your feelings.  

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