IT’S NICE TO KNOW OTHERS ARE CONCERNED ABOUT YOU! But, too much concern might make you want to fight or flee!

Someone in your life is concerned about your well-being. For the umpteenth time, that person has inquired about your well-being. At this point, what you’d really like to do is just say “STOP!” And you might just start feeling like a rebellious kid again – complete with eye roll and angry response! “I’m fine!” “Leave me alone!” “Get off my back!” The angrier you get, the more creative your response might be.

Probably all of these are very understandable responses to someone who just can’t take a hint.
And they’d be fantastic responses – if they actually worked. But, most likely, nothing changes and you just get more annoyed and angry. And the cycle keeps on being repeated. As do your stress, frustration, and anger.

I’ve developed a 5-step response template that actually works – most of the time.
Well…. it can work if you can actually calm down enough to use it. And you’ll be able to do that, if you practice first.

Try  this (after taking a few deep, relaxing breaths):

1) Make a wondering statement that is really a question:
I’m wondering why you’re so worried/concerned about this…… (said with real concern).

2) Validate concerns:
I do understand that you are worried/concerned about me …….. (tone of voice counts here!).

3) Reassure:
I’m really fine – and I can handle this. (Said with assurance and confidence.)

4) Express gratitude and reassure again:
Thank you so much for caring about me – but I really am fine.

5) Change the subject to something of interest to the other person:
“Did you hear the news about Aunt Sally?”  Or something like that. (Again tone of voice and confident presentation count!)

There’s no guarantee that this 5-step approach will work the way you want it to. A lot depends on your ability to convince yourself that you really could mean it. It’s nice to have people concerned about you. It’s also terrible annoying when those same people invade your space with their concern.

Your air of confidence + maintaining some good boundaries can make the difference. And being a good actor, learning your part and keeping in character – can be quite effective in convincing those annoying folks to just lay off!

If you try this approach, I’d love to hear from you. Was this helpful? A total bust? Or somewhere in between?  Please let me know: give me a call at 310-475-1759 or email your thoughts to:



IT’S NICE TO KNOW OTHERS ARE CONCERNED ABOUT YOU! But, too much concern might make you want to fight or flee! — 2 Comments

  1. This is very lovely Karen! It’s really thoughtful and great! I am going to start trying these responses and see what may shift. Thank you for your blog.

    • Hi Michelle,

      Thanks for the positive feedback – and for trying out my response template. What I’ve learned is that this works best if the user tweaks the responses to fit the situation and personalities. So I have no expectation that you’ll use my exact words; but I do hope the general concept is useful to you!

      Take care.