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I’m good, thanks.
July 11, 2017 by De Yarrison

I’m good, thanks. How many times do I hear these words, or some variation on the sentiment, in a day? Here are a few recent examples:

I accidentally bumped into a young man in the market and said, “Excuse me, I’m sorry.” To which he replied, “No, I’m good.”

I said to my 2-year-old, “Zach, I’m tired. Let’s take a rest.” To which he replied, “No Mama, you good.”

Two weekends ago, I was chaperoning a youth retreat. I was walking across campus to meet my group and two girls passed by me. One was coughing, choking on something. I asked her if she wanted a bottle of water. She replied, “no, [cough-cough], I’m [cough] good.”
Me: “I’ve got three unopened bottles in my backpack. Please take one.”
Her: “[cough] No, I’m good. [cough]”
Her friend was just staring at her like, “take the water already!!”

I set my pack down, pulled out a bottle of water and practically forced it on her. She did take it and drank nearly the whole thing in one breath.

What is going on? When did we decide that we’re all “good” and don’t need to accept help or apologies or even water from one another? How did this sentiment become so commonplace that it has become an automatic response from my 2-year-old?

And perhaps more importantly, I wonder what we’re not saying when we’re saying “I’m good.” I have a hunch that we might not be saying things like:

  • Yes, I could use some help right now.
  • Thank you for noticing [me].
  • I would really like that, thank you.


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