There is a difference between two similar idioms “in a good place” and “in a better place.” Both phrases are common expressions in the English language that suggest a person is in a more favorable standing or situation than in the past.
This was discussed online following Vice President Leni Robredo‘s birthday greeting to actress Kim Chiu.
‘In a good place’
Cambridge Dictionary explains that the remark “in a…place” is used to “to talk about someone’s feelings, situation, or mental condition.”
This is backed by Word Reference, a long-running language forum, stating that the phrase refers to “a person’s state of mind, serenity, confidence, optimism, etc.”
A mental health group called “Mental Health aWHEREness” said on Twitter that the idiom means someone is “in a good state, or mentally healthy.”
The group further shared screenshots of Google search results about what “in a good place” means.
Maybe it’s a good day to learn a new idiomatic expression related to #MentalHealth, yes?
“In a good place” may mean that someone is emotionally in a good state, or mentally healthy. 💚🤗
Read some of Google search results on the meaning of this idiom: pic.twitter.com/vzaRwpXHLU
— Mental Health aWHEREness (@MHawhereness) April 21, 2022
Therefore, if someone is “in a good place”, a person is doing well mentally or the person’s mentally healthy.
‘In a better place’
Meanwhile, “in a better place” is referred to when comforting people who are grieving.
Another online dictionary called “YourDictionary.com” said that to be in a better place means to be in “a realm of posthumous pleasure.”
“Better place” could also have a literal meaning, as in “making the world a better place.”
Context and application
Leni Robredo, a presidential candidate, sent a video greeting to Kim Chiu on her birthday on April 19 which the latter posted on her Instagram account.
Chiu posted this video on her Instagram account.
In it, Robredo describes Kim to be “in a good place.”
“I want to wish you a very happy birthday. I know you’re in a good place now,” Robredo says in the video.
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Kim is also one of the celebrities who openly showed their support to the tandem of Robredo and Sen. Kiko Pangilinan for the May elections.
Robredo’s social media critics, however, confused the idiom she used in greeting Chiu with the social norm of saying “in a better place” in condoling with
They thought that Robredo was talking about Kim’s supposed death.
Miss Trans Global Mela Franco Habijan, who also supports the Leni-Kiko tandem, clapped back to one of these bloggers on Facebook.
In her post, Habijan shared similar explanations of how both idioms are used among English speakers.
“You are in a good place’ is an idiomatic expression that means someone is confident, at content. Being in a good place means one’s mental state is at peace. Iba ito sa ‘you are in a better place.’ Ito yung idiomatic expression na sinasabi sa taong namatay,” she said.
The social media personality further noted that the blogger must have confused the phrase with Netflix’s “The Good Place” which is a fictional account of the afterlife.
“Baka naalala niya kasi yung The Good Place, na TV show about heaven na mapapanood din sa Netflix,” Habijan said.