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Bien dans sa peau

French expressions analyzed and explained

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Expression: Bien dans sa peau

Pronunciation: [byeh(n) da(n) sa po]

Meaning: content / comfortable / at ease with oneself

Literal translation: well in one's skin

Register: normal

Notes: The French expression bien dans sa peau can be used with être or se sentir and with different subjects and possessive adjectives: je suis bien dans ma peau, es-tu bien dans ta peau ?, etc. It can also be comparative: être / se sentir mieux dans sa peau (to be more content, feel more comfortable with oneself).

But bien dans sa peau is most commonly used in the negative to refer to any sort of teenage angst, depression, or general dissatisfaction with who one is:

   ne pas être bien dans sa peau
   être mal dans sa peau
   ne pas se sentir bien dans sa peau
   se sentir mal dans sa peau

I like the expression bien dans sa peau, particularly in the negative, because a feeling of awkwardness or dissatisfaction can make it seem like one's skin doesn't fit right. I can't think of an English equivalent that really does it justice.

Examples

   Depuis que son père est parti, mon fils n'est pas bien dans sa peau.
   Since his father left, my son hasn't been comfortable with himself / has been troubled.

   Je ne sais pas pourquoi, mais je suis mal dans ma peau ce matin.
   I don't know why, I just don't feel like myself this morning.

   Nous ne nous sentons jamais bien dans notre peau.
   We never feel at ease with ourselves.

Synonyms: être dans son assiette, être bien dans sa tête, se sentir bien dans sa tête

Post your comments about the French expression bien dans sa peau on my French blog - just hit "comments" at the bottom of the post.


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