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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Heavy Words

Just a quick reminder to check out the Author Letter Contest.  You can find it below or here:  Shooting Stars Mag
So, I was talking to a friend recently and it was discussed how particularly rude the word “should” happens to be.  Have you ever thought about that word?  I hadn’t, not really anyway.  You should buy this.  You should try that.  How demanding.  I never thought about that word, in that way.  Not until it was brought to my attention.  As I try to be as non-demanding as I can be, this took me by surprise.  I am a big sayer of “Oh, you should try this!  Or:   Oh my gosh, you should buy these!  Talk about telling someone what to do!  Yikes, never realized.... 

This brings to mind that there are loads of things we say to people and we don’t really pay attention to the strength behind them or the emotions they invoke.  One that I have found to bring out the most defensive emotions in people when used is:  Why?  Such a small little word, and yet the tone behind it tends to bring out the worst in people.  I use this word all the time, much to the displeasure of some.  I want to understand, I want to be educated, I want to know why? The aggravation this little word brings, I find comical.  I am not in any way shape or form questioning someone’s intelligent, or facts, or character.  I have learned that there are just some people that can’t take this word.  I still want to know why?

Another strong word?  How about So?  So what, or so as in “and?”.  Hoo buddy, this is a mean use of a word and yet…it is not used with that intention, at least not by me.  This follows right behind the word why.  It is more of a fact search than an insult and yet people tend to jump into thinking, that I am being insulting.  I can't win.

I think what this means is that I should work on finding lighter words.  But why?  So what?


2 comments:

  1. I think because I'm a writer and an English major, I put a lot of stress on words. I can get offended by things that other people never meant to be offensive. You know the old "Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never hurt me"? Well words do hurt me--more than most. I have to work on getting it through my head that not everyone puts as much emphasis on words as I do.

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  2. I think it can depend on WHO is saying it. If you, Courtney, say to me, "You should try this!" Yeah, cool. But when my FIL or MIL says it, as in, "You should come to dinner next Sunday... You should help your brother put up his fence... " it's all I can do to keep my fangs in.

    Also, does the person have a sense of humour? Delivery is everything.

    I think we can take ourselves too seriously, especially when we're not fully confident in our sense of identity and ability. When you grow up with repeated, harmful comments, it takes some work to shift past that, and not give a turd what anybody else says or thinks. And we all have our own list of triggers to contend with, which makes for some confusing and stressful interaction at times.

    You're right, people do get defencive when you ask 'why'. Perhaps the look of perplex-ion is what seals it.

    Ya think? ;)

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