Let’s say you’re a highly sensitive person. You know it drains you to be around negative people and situations. And you’re aware that exposing yourself to negativity offsets your inner-balance. Unfortunately, you’re quite accustomed to biting your tongue and not engaging in negative behavior. Regrettably, by pretending that everything is OK you end up pay a high price for that fantasy.
For example, let’s say your best friend says something mean to you. You may think to yourself – I won’t let this bother me. But your friend continues on. Over time – your smile and attitude become strained, but because you’re accustomed to pretending that everything is A-OK – you keep smiling and continue to bite your tongue.
You know deep down that it’s best to avoid an argument. Overtime, your once friendly chats with your best friend become restricted. Before you know it, it’s all surface talk: the weather, the news, office politics and so on. And you know what happens next? Your friendship starts fading away.
Pretending Everything is Okay Does Not Make Things Better
When we pretend everything is OK it damages our relationships with others and diminishes our self-worth.
When someone is mean to us or hurts our feelings and we react by holding in our emotions – this causes internal strain and stress.
This type of internal stress builds up over time. Eventually, that buildup of stress and strain comes out in unexpected ways. Such as passive aggressive behavior or random outbursts of frustration.
How Do We Stop Pretending Everything is Okay?
To put it bluntly – it’s time to get real.
Meaning – We need to stop living in denial when things are not OK.
Here Are 7 Ways to Help You Stop Pretending Everything is Okay
1. Be Honest
Get really honest with yourself. When you pretend that everything is OK – you end up diminishing your self-worth. Regain your personal power back by being brutally honest with yourself. What is not OK in your life? What are you tired of pretending is OK?
2. Write it Out
Start by writing out your frustrations and anger. Get it out on paper. And – Don’t judge it.
By writing out what is not OK in your life – your start to clear the path towards clarity. Clarity is a beautiful space and state where you know what you want your life to look like and not look like.
3. Ask for Help
Asking for help is not a sign of weakness, in my opinion, it’s a sign of strength. Don’t struggle in silence.
4. Talk About It
After you have asked for help – Break the barriers down and talk it out with a trusted person in your life.
5. Learn to Say No and Set Healthy Boundaries
After you have addressed your frustrations and anger with yourself and someone you trust – Decide what you are going to say no to and what boundaries you will create.
By saying no to someone or something – you start down the path of creating more healthy boundaries in your life.
Remember: You have the choice of how you spend your time and who you spend it with and what you choose to be doing.
6. Make Time for Yourself
“You-Time” is essential. When you take time to be with yourself – the chatter of the world will slowly dissipate and you can start tune into your emotions.
If things are not OK with a particular person or situation – take this time to figure out how you can make them OK for you. (Assuming that we solely focus on things within our control.)
7. Put Yourself First
When we pretend that everything is OK – what we are really saying is this: My needs, values and feelings do not matter.
Ouch! Your needs, what you value and how you feel do matter. And I insist that you make sure you know this and believe it.
When you put yourself first (whether that means standing up for yourself, voicing your opinion or carving out “You-Time”) you create more value in your life. You end up valuing yourself more and in turn – those in your life will value and respect you more.
It’s so easy to pretend everything is OK– that’s the easy route. Addressing what is not OK in your life is the road less traveled.
Get crystal clear on what is not OK in your life and choose to have agency over how you respond to it and allow it in your life.
Do you pretend that everything is OK? What price have you had to pay because of it?