I’m good, thanks.


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.

Vulnerability. A knee-jerk, “I’m good,” dances around our vulnerability.
What makes us vulnerable is what makes us beautiful: giving compassion, laughing out loud, praying with someone who is hurting, showing spontaneous affection. These authentic expressions are the source of connection and intimacy in our lives.

Hearing “I’m good” lets me off the hook. Frees me up from seeing your vulnerability, spending time listening to your story, and experiencing your need.
Saying “I’m good” lets me off the hook from showing my own vulnerability; from sharing the truth about my needs, worries, or difficulties. I don’t want to do that anymore.

“speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.” – Ephesians 4:15

What will it mean or do for us when we speak and listen to the truth from one another? Without having answers or rushing to solution. Simply giving the gift of our presence to one another.

Copyright 2017 De Yarrison

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  1. Kim says:

    wonderful observations. Thank you for the encouragement to be vulnerable and invite others to be vulnerable as well. As always, thank you for sharing your wisdom and heart. Love!

    Reply
  2. Jeanne says:

    Thank you for these thoughts. I often keep what’s going on in my life hidden behind,”I’m good.” i guess its because i don’t want to burden anyone figuring that they probably have enough of their own stuff to deal with. In reading your blog i realize what I’m really doing is robbing them of an opportunity to grow in emphathy and compassion and me from feeling connected to another person. I will think on this more now. Thanks again and God bless.

    Reply
    • De Yarrison says:

      Hi Jeanne, thank you for your comment. I love the insights you’ve shared. We can feel like we’re ‘bothering’ others by sharing our worries or challenges, but that is just a lie that the enemy uses to keep us feeling isolated and disconnected. The truth is that we are not alone! Our journeys share more similarities than we may realize. I’ve learned this over and over again (I’m still learning it!). God bless you!

      Reply

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