The words we use are powerful and there is meaning in the words we choose.
I was reminded of this recently during what I thought was a very casual conversation with an old friend from work. She asked how I was doing. I said, “Well, here’s the thing..”
She slapped her hand on the table and said “No! You sound just like every old boyfriend I ever had!”
I had no idea what she was talking about. I told her so.
“Okay,” she said, “When you say, ‘Here’s the thing,’ what I hear is you saying ‘Here’s the only thing that matters.'”
“What would you suggest?” I asked.
“Maybe ‘Here’s a thing.'”
I don’t know if she was over-sensitive, I was insensitive, or whether she had just picked some bad boyfriends. What I do know is that until that point, I’d never given a thought to the phrase “Here’s the thing.” They were “just” words, something I say a lot and never think of.
But she did! She had obviously spent plenty of time thinking it over, and it obviously irks her every time she hears it.
For the rest of the day, I really tried to pay attention to what I was saying. Just to take a closer look at the things I say and what they might mean to someone else. And to figure out who I might be annoying accidentally.
What do you think? Are there seemingly casual phrases you hear that bother you? Phrases you use that might drive someone into a blinding rage to the point where they slap a poor defenseless table?
I often get accused of over-thinking things. I think I’m probably more prone to under-thinking.
I hate the word “luscious,” but I can’t come up with anything else right now that really sets me off.
Here’s a thing: please Subscribe To The RSS feed.
And if you’re really awesome, subscribe to the newsletter.