A poll of 2,000 adults found that two-thirds will tell friends and family they are ‘fine’ over the holiday period, even when they’re not.
Half of the respondents believe others don’t want to hear about their troubles because it dampens the mood, so they keep the conversation light-hearted.
But the study, commissioned by British snack food company Walkers to shine a light on the benefits of opening up and talking more, found that 87 percent confessed to just saying they’re ‘fine’ on autopilot, without even thinking about how they actually feel.
Walkers and Comic Relief teamed up with TV and radio presenter, and mental wellbeing campaigner, Roman Kemp to inspire people to open up and talk more—challenging them to give up the F*** word (Fine) to support their mental wellbeing.
“As someone who has been open about their own battle with mental health and seen first-hand the devastating consequences of people bottling up their feelings, this is a campaign very close to my heart,” said Kemp.
“So, I’m hoping that through this campaign we can help open up the conversation surrounding mental wellbeing—and get people having open and honest conversations about how they’re really feeling.
“Let’s stop saying we’re fine because we think it’s polite, or because we think it’s what the other person wants to hear.
Kemp believes that most of the time, if a friend or family member is asking, they really do care and genuinely want to know.
Three of the top reasons why people use the autopilot ‘I’m fine’ response, instead of telling the truth, are: not wanting to bring other people down, not knowing how people are going to deal with your emotions, and being afraid of feeling uncomfortable.
Philippa Pennington, from Walkers, which has donated £2 million to Comic Relief for mental wellbeing projects, said: “The message of our Christmas campaign—that it can actually help to open up and talk about your feelings—is so important and we hope to be able to encourage people to talk a little more.”
The survey, carried out by OnePoll, also found that people don’t want to go into detail about how they’re feeling. However, while one-quarter of those surveyed don’t believe people genuinely want to know how you’re doing, half of the respondents claimed they DO genuinely want people to tell them how they’re feeling.
Samir Patel, CEO of Comic Relief, suggests an ice-breaker. “Humor can be a great way to help start conversations that can sometimes be difficult.
Here are 12 responses that might open-up conversations:
Can’t complain…I have tried, but no one listens.
Not bad. Could be better, though.
I have a pulse, so that’s good.
How do you think that I am doing?
I don’t feel great, but my hair looks amazing!
I am doing well…but that could be my anti-depressants speaking.
Things are fine when you’re around.
Fair to partly cloudy.
You go first. Then, we can compare.
Not quite there yet.
Do you want the short or the detailed version?
I’m under renovation.