Solving the Mystery of “I’m Fine” When She’s REALLY NOT!
You’re anticipating a romantic evening with your sweetie. You found a great chick flick to watch together. You sit down on the couch next to her and gently touch her leg. Whoa! Something’s terribly wrong.
For one thing, she’s distanced herself at the very end of the couch. She’s got this pretzel posture going on with her arms. They’re defiantly crossed in front of her chest. The leg closest to you is raised high like a wall. When you touched it, she recoiled like a snake.
“Honey, what’s the matter?” you venture.
“Nothing, I’m fine,” she sighs.
Huh? She’s obviously not peachy keen. She’s certainly not her normal, cheerful self. You try to find out what’s troubling her. She shuts up like a clam.
“This is heading nowhere,” you think. “What am I supposed to do?”
If you two have been close for eons, she thinks you should completely understand her. You should be like the Wizard of Oz. See all, know all, and have all the answers.
“How can she expect me to read her mind?” you ask, exasperated.
Fortunately, you don’t have to be a mind-reader. You can become well-versed in body language. To get to the root of her behavior, you’ll need to be a sleuth. However, don’t get discouraged. Her mannerisms will guide you.
WHY SHE MAY BE PASSIVE-AGGRESSIVE
With passive-aggressive behavior, there’s a disconnect between what a person says and does. It’s a subtle retaliation versus being honest. Emotion is conveyed indirectly. Your honey may think that frankly expressing her feelings will only make a situation worse. Another reason for her lockjaw may be she hasn’t honed her communication skills.
Her cold shoulder is the just tip of the iceberg. There are basically 10 reasons why she’s acting like the Ice Queen.
1. She’s beat.
Sheer exhaustion could be behind “I’m fine.” She just doesn’t have the energy for an explanation of what’s wrong. The other possibility is that she didn’t sleep well the previous night.
Clues – Does her face look blanched and weary? Are there bags under her eyes?
What to Do – Ask if you can give her a massage. If the relaxation response makes her sleepy, let her take a nap. It will restore her sweet disposition in short order.
2. She wants to avoid an argument.
She may want to sidestep bickering. If the topic on her mind is a loaded one, she may feel the time isn’t right for a long discussion.
Clues – She gives you the “cut-off” glance. She turns her head or entire body away from you. She may cover her mouth with her hand. She may also display pursed lips. This is when her lips are pressed together in a formidable line.
What to Do – The topic is closed. Period. Don’t press her for details.
3. She’s so angry, she’s seeing stars.
The flip side of “I’m fine” is seething agitation. She may be feeling ballistic beyond words.
Clues – There’s a whole storm of them:
chin tilted up
swinging her leg
kicking her foot
standing up abruptly
hands on hips
What to Do – Put on your emotional armor. Brace for impact. However, try to avoid counter attacking. It will only invite more anger. Instead, listen and try to understand her point of view. Nod your head to show genuine interest. This will diffuse the steam.
4. She wants to talk but needs to be comforted first.
Clues – She’s holding her hands palm up. This indicates sincerity. She’s not withholding anything from you. Her hand is on her cheek. She’s debating whether to share her feelings.
What to Do – Enfold her in your arms. Stroke her hair. She’ll take it from there.
5. She’s stressed. It may have nothing to do with you.
Clues – She may display nervous behavior, such as nail-biting and skin-picking. She might get up and pace the room. Is she fidgeting, frequently changing position? Observe her breathing rate. Is she taking shallow breaths? She’s stressed. Is she pulling her stomach in with each inhalation? She’s struggling with anxiety.
What to Do – Help her to relax. Here are some suggestions:
Brew up some chamomile tea.
Stroke her hands.
Massage her neck or feet.
Play soothing music.
Light a fragrant candle.
Draw her a bubble bath.
6. She’s unhappy.
Your beloved may be battling the blues.
Clues – If she pinches the bridge of her nose, she may be holding back tears. Another sign is squeezing her eyes tightly shut. Look at her posture. Is she hunched forward? Is her back rounded? She’s carrying the world on her shoulders.
What to Do – Give her a consoling hug. Offer a compassionate ear. Once you learn the cause of her depression, you can take steps to resolve it.
7. She denies being upset, but she’s hiding something from you.
She may want to spare you the burden of her concerns.
Clues – While speaking, she:
covers her face with her hands
touches or rubs her nose
scratches her neck
What to Do – Gently ask her if there’s something she’s afraid to bring up. Assure her that she can discuss anything with you.
8. She’s premenstrual.
Hormones wreak havoc on a woman’s body and emotions. Most women do all they can to avoid period pitfalls. Even if your sweetie takes measures to ward off symptoms, she may still be at their mercy. She isn’t alone. An estimated 75 percent of women experience unpleasant premenstrual syndromes.
Clues – There’s a passel of them:
What to Do – Keep track of her menstrual course. You can do this by noting it on your private calendar. There are also free smartphone apps to help you tune into her cycle. One of them is the Clue Period Tracker. It is available for both iOS and Android. The app is designed to predict the times of PMS and menstruation. It will send you notifications announcing the segments of her cycle. Entering the data is quick and easy. For further information on the iOS version of Clue Period Tracker, click here: For the Android version, click here:
When you’re clued into the difficult times of her cycle, you can help her by:
Showering her with compliments.
Sending her text messages professing your love.
Sympathizing with her situation.
Buying her dark chocolate.
9. She’s ravenously hungry.
A hungry tummy or blood sugar dip may be making her irritable.
Clues – Signs of a drop in blood sugar are tremors, dizziness, and headache. A grumbling stomach announces hunger.
What to Do – Ask if she’s hungry or when she last ate. If it’s been a while since her last meal, quickly whip up a healthy dish or order food delivery. If she’s showing signs of hypoglycemia, offer a snack to balance her blood sugar. Here are some suggestions:
strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, cherries
green smoothie made with spinach, kale, beets, carrots, and apples
whole-grains, such as popcorn, oatmeal, brown rice, and quinoa
whole-grain crackers and hummus
almonds, walnuts, or pistachio nuts
yogurt with fruit and cinnamon
10. She’s mentally preoccupied.
She may be rehashing a problem or event in her mind.
Clues – If she’s appears pensive or distracted, chalk her behavior up to a busy mind. Give her time to process her thoughts. Give her space to sort things out.
What to Do – In this case, it’s best to leave her alone.
Now you have the keys to unlock the mystery of her mood. It could be that she’s:
2. Avoiding an argument
3. Angry beyond words
4. In need of nurturing
7. Hiding something
Whatever the reason, you’ve got the tools to keep things cool. So don’t sweat it, brother. Just go undercover. Once you spot the clues, you’ll know what to do.
Here’s wishing all the best to your honey and you.