Assertiveness & saying it how it is...or not!

I have been thinking quite a bit about this.   How when people ask how we are - this applies to everyone not just poorly people - we say "fine"! It's like the automatic response whether we are or not.

When I first went to the M.E Clinic not long after I was diagnosed I had group therapy. They spoke to us about being assertive & said it wasn't such a bad thing to tell people that we weren't actually fine when they asked the 'how are you' question.  They said by acknowledging that actually we weren't great wasn't a bad thing & suggesting saying something along the lines of "I'm not too good today actually".

I took this concept on & it did help. I still sometimes tell people now when I'm not good if they ask. But most of the time I never really feel well anyway so if I told everyone how I really felt every time they asked (which is always the first question in conversation!) I'd do their heads in!  I find that it actually depresses me too if I always say how rubbish I feel!!  It's easier in a way just saying you're ok.  I suppose I choose who to say how I really feel to depending on who it is.  I probably do certain people's heads in actually, no need to name names as you know who you are (sorry)!!!

People who know me well though can tell straight away when I'm particularly bad if they see me in person, as I either look like a vampire with pale face & dark eyes (I do love vamps though!) or when they ask how I am I do a non convincing smile & say "I'm ok"!!  In fact that seems to be my automatic response, I seem to either say "I'm ok" or "not too bad".

When I speak to my fellow M.E sufferer friends & we ask how each other are, we understand when it's a rubbish day without having to explain.  My friend made me giggle the other day as I had sent her a message & asked the dreaded question! Her response was "pretty much average". And that totally sums up how every day is for us. It would be great to be able to say how well I felt when someone asked.  It never happens though!

It also doesn't mean that when I say I'm ok that I really am not as sometimes I do feel ok (it is a good word I think as it covers all bases!!).  No days are good ones, some are better ones but I've had this crappy illness long enough to just have to deal with it. I'm not saying I don't find it difficult as I still do but hey ho!

I have noticed recently that I use the term "it's a bleugh day" on my worse ones! I think it's a brilliant term to describe it :-D

So... if you know me & I tell you how I really feel when it's a rubbish day I guess you should feel honoured haha ;-)


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