From Okay to Good: A Journey Unto Itself

by Melody Jean

Okay to Good A Journey Contemporary SeekerA recent incident brought this notion to the forefront for me.

Life is funny like that. And so is the English language.

Okay vs. Good

When examining these two words as descriptors, that is, to define how something or someone is doing, performing, etc., you’d likely prefer it to be referred to as “good” as opposed to “okay.”

For instance, would you rather hear that you did “okay” on a test in school, or a project at work, or that you did “good?”

Exactly.

Communication 101

On my spiritual journey I’ve focused much on communication via life and school — personal interactions, observing others, and even studying the subject at the Master’s level in College.

Yet, I’m not sure I’ve mastered it in my personal life.

This fact, reminds me of something my father always says, “Nobody is perfect, even the finest can do better.”

So with that, and communications skills, there’s always room for improvement.

Especially because each person we interact with is different than the one before.

So while we may assume someone will respond in a certain way (to what we say or do), based on our own personal past experience, or statistics — communication is also largely individual.

–) Human Response Line

Yet, even though I’m still a novice, I’ll offer the below responses, which I list from left to right (because I like things linear). Those furthest to the left are less favorable and the right, more so.

So yes, this is how it goes … in my mind anyway <wink, wink>

BAD –> FINE –> OKAY –> GOOD –> GREAT/EXCELLENT

Notice where “fine” lay? When someone says “fine” in response to something you asked, said or did … be leery.

Things usually are far from “fine,” and they’re definitely not “okay” per the equation above. In fact, they’re usually teetering on “bad,” and he or she could be sugar coating, or buying some time until the real feelings come forth. 😉

Bringing Okay to Good

Yet, in the situation to which this post relates, I was astute enough to recognize that there was “more” behind the “okay.”

Further, when I got an “okay” instead of “good,” I instantly felt hurt and disappointed. Particularly because I thought I was definitely going to receive a “good.”

–) Emotionality

Yes, I know, again, emotionality is not a word. Like many others I contrive up. But it should be. It covers this segment here so accurately.

I know some view me as emotionless. This can work in my favor, and sometimes, against me.

In another recent interaction, I was told I’m not so much emotionless, but rather, I can keep my emotions in check most of the time. This person knows me well. Yet, still, that’s a big difference from emotionless.

–)  Emotion Management

I do believe that if someone doesn’t  know me on a truly personal level, they may see me as emotionless.

Yet, if I don’t react emotionally, those close to me know better. They recognize that I’m just not showing how I feel. It has no bearing on what is truly happening inside of me.

In the case where I heard “okay,” I kept my emotions in check. And I think it served the situation well.

Now Getting Back to Good

After I heard “okay” I was left unsettled.

I needed to examine why it bothered me.

For one, some people use the words “okay” and “good” interchangeably.

Yet, knowing this person? They choose their words wisely.

With that, I knew there was a difference, and further, a reason why “okay” was used instead of good.

I probed a bit right at that moment, but cut the conversation short. I could sense it wasn’t the right time. For me or the other individual.

A Space Between

Most often it’s unbearably hard for me to wait to address something that’s weighing on me.

However, I’ve learned that more times than not, the pain of waiting can be far less painful than rushing a conversation when it isn’t the right time.

Especially if I’m not sure that I’m ready to clearly articulate why something is bothering me.

So I waited.

Examining Intentions

I knew it would serve me well to wait to determine what I should say and/or do.

However, I also owed it to myself, and the other, to take the time to examine my intentions and figure out why I was so unsettled with “okay?”

–) Defense Not Always Best Offense

Was I making a mountain out of a mole hill?

Was I just going at this in a defensive manner, meaning, I felt-put down and had to build myself back up?

In my humble experience I’ve learned that confronting someone while still feeling the initial sting of being beaten down is usually not the best option.

When I realized, no. Neither were the case, I moved on to the next area of discovery.

–) True Intent

My next thought was the one I already mentioned above. I was disappointed, and with that, hurt. I kind of felt side-swiped.

My only intention, therefore, my true intention, in approaching this topic if I were to bring it up again, was to gain further clarification – why just “okay?”

While, yes, in reality it didn’t receive a “bad,” or even a “fine” for that matter, it still did not receive a “good.”  And I thought it was getting a “good,” for sure.

–) Determining Worth & Seeking Further

So in thinking about the situation, I determined, hands down, it was worth seeking answers. I wanted to get it to a resounding “good” or even a “great!”

I wanted to take the journey from “okay” to “good” and make it a journey unto itself.

So I sought answers using pretty much the example I opened with (most prefer to hear “good” rather than “okay”).

Do-Overs

While there are no do-overs in life, we can always work to make things better, or “good” (pun intended).

With that, I’m hopeful that when the next report-card arrives, it will be donning, at the very least, a big “GOOD!”

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