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More than simply “fine”

It happens every time we say hello. In person, in text, on the phone. Someone asks us how we’re doing. It’s politeness. It’s a social convention. And it’s a way to find out how we’re all doing and connect with each other. 

But, more often than not, do you find yourself answering, automatically, with “fine, thanks? You are not alone. Most of us do. But maybe, just maybe, if we said more than just I’m fine, we would connect a little more, and have more meaningful connections.  

In fact, when we slow down and figure out what we’re really feeling, it can help us actually feel better and can improve the way we communicate with and relate to others. Knowing and saying what we really feel can improve our relationships. 

So, what could you say instead of just I’m fine? The English language has literally thousands of words for emotions. Here are just some of them. Next time someone asks you how you are, try one of these answers on for size.  

“Positive” feelings 

Excited Enthusiastic Delighted Amazed Passionate Aroused Alert Astonished Dazzled Energetic Awakened Eager Charged Exhilarated  

Friendly Appreciative Delighted Pleased Amazed Affectionate Caring Loving Sympathetic Warm Doting Tender Attached Compassionate  

Confident Bold Courageous Positive Fearless Optimistic Encouraged Powerful Proud Trusting Secure Brave Empowered  

Ecstatic Thrilled Blissful Elated Enthralled Exuberant Radiant Rapturous Thrilled  

Thankful Grateful Moved Touched Appreciative Recognized Indebted Included Understood Appreciated Accepted Acknowledged Recognized Welcomed Connected Supported Heard Respected Involved  

Intrigued Absorbed Fascinated Interested Charmed Entertained Captivated Engaged Engrossed Curious Surprised  

Joyful Cheerful Festive Lighthearted Upbeat Glad Merry Elated Delighted Jubilant Hopeful Tickled Pleased  

Peaceful Calm Quiet Trusting Fulfilled Steady Collected Composed Comfortable Centered Content Relieved Mellow Level Restful Still At ease Satisfied Relaxed Clear Reassured Rested 

Refreshed Stimulated Replenished Exhilarated Reinvigorated Revived Enlivened Restored Liberated Lively Passionate Vibrant  

“Negative” feelings 

Afraid Nervous Dread Frightened Cowardly Terrified Alarmed Panicked Suspicious Worried Apprehensive Agitated Bothered Uncomfortable Uneasy  

Frenzied Irritable Disturbed Troubled Unsettled Unnerved Restless Upset  

Angry Furious Livid Irate Resentful Hateful Hostile Aggressive Worked up Provoked Outraged Defensive  

Anxious Shaky Distraught Edgy Fidgety Frazzled Irritable Jittery Overwhelmed Restless Preoccupied Flustered  

Confused Lost Disoriented Puzzled Chaotic Uncertain Stuck Indecisive Foggy Dazed Baffled Flustered Perturbed Perplexed Hesitant Immobilized Ambivalent Torn Disconnected  

Lonely Isolated Bored Distant Removed Detached Separate Broken Aloof Numb Withdrawn Rejected Out-of-place Indifferent Misunderstood Abandoned Alienated  

Disgusted Appalled Horrified Disturbed Repugnant Contempt Spiteful Animosity Hostile Bitter  

Embarrassed Awkward Self-conscious Silly Mortified Humiliated Flustered Chagrined  

Ashamed Put down Guilty Disgraced Envy Jealous Competitive Covetous Resentful Longing Insecure Inadequate Yearning Helpless Paralyzed Weak Defenseless Powerless Invalid Abandoned Alone Incapable Useless Inferior Vulnerable Empty  

Distressed In pain Remorseful Regretful Disappointed Guilty Grieving Miserable Anguish Bruised Crushed Sadness Heartbroken Disappointed  

Hopeless Regretful Depressed Pessimistic Melancholy Sorrowful Heavy-hearted Low Gloomy Miserable Stress Overwhelmed Frazzled Uneasy Cranky Distraught Dissatisfied Weighed down Overworked Anxious Shocked Frustrated  

Tired Bored Fatigued Exhausted Uninterested Worn out Fed up Drained Weary Burned out Lethargic Sleepy Depleted Vulnerable Insecure Exposed Unguarded Sensitive Unsafe Inferior Weak Judged Inadequate 

Sources: 

https://nrc.canada.ca/en/research-development/products-services/technical-advisory-services/sentiment-emotion-lexicons 

Mental Health America 2020 https://www.mhanational.org/mental-health-month