Sometimes, I find myself starting to say one of the following phrases and catch myself. It could be construed as a lie when you are asked "How are you today?" and you answer with "Fine, thank you. And you?" I realize we often do this to avoid pouring out our heart and saying to someone "Rotten, thank you. You?" Although I have been known to say that on occasion, I usually do it for effect - just to see the look on someone's face. Then I laugh and they have no idea if I was lying or telling the truth.
And what about the waitress who says "How are we today?" I know how I am but why would you ask me how YOU are doing?
But there are certain things people say to me (or I hear them say to other people) that I would love to challenge. I think these are usually said because they feel badly for someone and don't know what else to say. HOWEVER, if we say these things and sincerely mean them -- that is a totally different ballgame. My issue is when we say something for the mere sake of saying it and there is little to no thought behind it.
6. "You are in my thoughts." Does this mean that you will be thinking of me in a positive or negative manner? Does this mean that you think I'm crazy and just want me to go away and not tell you any more details?
5. "You are in my prayers." This is one of my favorites. Am I expected to believe that you will honestly be praying for me? I have heard people say this, especially online, to people they barely know. If I know it is not true, I am sure other people are aware of that as well. So, why say it? Why give false hope? Am I to believe that with all the problems someone has in their own life, they are going to remember to pray for me?
4. "Please call me if you need me." Really? This is a good close to a conversation when someone doesn't want to hear any more of your problem and hopes you will find your own solution so they will not have to call you.
3. "Everything will turn out fine." How do you know? Are you psychic? What if it doesn't turn out fine -- can I sue you for false hope?
2. "Don't worry, be happy." This one makes my skin crawl. Do you really want me to go there? I am fully aware that worry accomplishes little to nothing and that 95% of what we worry about never happens. But it is like a slap in the face for anyone to tell me to be happy - when I may be in the middle of a crisis.
But the worst for last...
|I can have any kind of day I want!|
I try to be consciously aware of this and say something more appropriate. If you observe people you will quickly determine what to say to help them to "have a nice day." When I see that a cashier or teller looks sad or ill, I'll say something like "You look like you need a laugh." I proceed to tell them a quick joke and can see the flicker of instant stress relief. If I had said "Have a nice day" nothing would have changed.
There are many things we can say as alternatives that show we actually care, that we have listened and observed. I challenge you to try.
Do you agree or think I am crazy? Do you have similar pet peeves?
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