When Faking Normal Becomes the Norm
By: Terri Floyd, MS
Constantly telling yourself that everything is fine, even when you know it’s not, is exhausting. You’re the strong friend, the one who encourages everyone else. You're the one posting inspirational quotes daily on social media. When others ask, “How are you doing?”, you reply, “I’m good”. But let’s keep it real, sometimes you’re not good. You’re smiling on the outside, but slowly dying on the inside. You’re the life of the party, but you still feel alone. You’re the successful friend; the one everyone considers stable; the one who has her life together, so you can’t show signs of weakness. So instead you try to ignore it. If you’re reading this and can relate to it, you may have a case of what I call faking normal.
Faking normal is when everything on the outside appears to be normal. You may be very successful, organized, and mature, but on the inside you’re anxious, just going with the motions because you don’t want others to see you as weak and unstable. You don’t want others to see you as a failure or have them change their perception of you as having it all together. But sis, you are not a failure! You are beautiful, powerful, courageous, and unique. You are you! You don’t have to fake normal, and honesty should be key not only to others but to ourselves. So let’s end the cycle of faking normal!
I’m sure you’re probably saying well, this sounds great and all, but how do I do this? My advice to you is to make a conscious effort to do the following:
1. When a close friend asks you if you’re okay and you’re really not.....be honest!
It’s ok to let people know you’re human and have moments when you feel like you’re struggling to keep it together. In fact, you may find it to be a relief letting your true feelings out instead of hiding them.
2. Seek help!
If you don’t want family or friends to know what you’re going through, talk to a professional. Here’s a resource for help that’s affordable and available.
3. Indulge in some self-care.
You can no longer afford to fake normal! Be honest. Remember, you are not alone. You are beautiful, courageous, powerful, and unique. And even though you’re all those amazing things, you’re still allowed to have moments of not feeling like you have it all together. That is ok. In fact, that is normal.
Terri Floyd, MS is a Little Rock native and wears many hats. She’s a graduate of Philander Smith College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology, University of Arkansas Little Rock with a Post Graduate Certificate in Gerontology (Aging Studies) and a Master of Science degree in Health Sciences with an emphasis in Health Education and Health Promotion. She has extensive years of working experience in education, mental health, public health and research fields by working as an Intervention Specialist/Mental Health Paraprofessional (MHPP), Autism Behavior Line Therapist, Program Assistant and Research Assistant. Follow on her Twitter: @TeeFloTweets and on IG: @TeeFloSpeaks. FB Business Page: TF Solutions Center, LLC.