Saturday, February 27, 2010

The X Games of Speaking

It's no surprise that there are things that irritate me. I was reminded of this one the other day when I was talking to a co-worker. She sat down across my desk and said, "Everything in my life is horrible!"

The only way I could reply was, "Well, you're skinny and that already makes you worth more to you've got that going for you."

Was that a little rude of me? Probably. Should I have inquired as to WHY everything in her life was horrible? Sure. Of course. To be completely honest, desk at work seems to be the place where everyone comes to sit down and vent. I've made the joke numerous times (yeah, I stick with the same jokes...everyone knows that) that someday I'm going to dress up like Lucy from Peanuts and put a sign out that says "Psychiatric Help" with a tin can to put nickels in. ("Oh! A shiny nickel! Boy, I love the sound of cold, hard cash..."). Okay, I digress...

My problem isn't in the fact that people tell me their problems, I'm entirely okay with that. It's when people can't use their words and they use the "extremes of speech" (I absolutely just made up that expression). To say the phrase, "My life is over!" implies to me that you have just been diagnosed with a deadly disease, not that your dog chewed up your favorite shoes that you were going to wear tonight. When you post on your Facebook status update that "NO ONE will ever love me!", that makes me think that you are a completely unlovable person...not that a doucher that you've been dating for a week hasn't called you back (PS. If he hasn't called you back...he isn't worth it. Believe me.)

Now, I'm not saying that people can't have a bad day. I've had my share of them, but I strive to use my words (Is there any better phrase than someone requesting you to "use your words..."?? I love it.) and express how I truly feel. "My feelings are hurt today" works better for me than "Everyone hates me". Now do I pepper my words with some things that are uber-expressive? Oh, yes...without question! I actually find that somewhat entertaining, but I really do try to refrain from using absolutes (well, unless EVERYONE I know has actually come up to me and said, "I hate you."...but I can promise you that my grandma will never do that...)

While explaining to my friend Jackie my disdain for dramatic absolutes, she put it best (as she always does...I think I want to grow up to be like her...I'll be a lovely combination of Mike Grosz and will be wonderful), "Yeah, when someone says that they are having the worst day of their life, I really doubt that they've taken the time to sit down and go through the files of their life to really account for all of their bad days."

So, how about it? Can we band together and banish extremes? Let's start more extremes* on Facebook status updates. I can promise're not having the worst week EVER...there are a lot more disappointments that will be happening in your life in the future.

*Along with banishing extremes on Facebook status updates, can we also banish cryptic messages without giving explanations? If you are going to post something cryptic, please be prepared and willing to give an answer to the questions that will most certainly be asked. Also, if you say that something in your life is bad on your Facebook and no one comments, that means that you complain too much on your Facebook and NO ONE cares. That's the one extreme that I can promise you.


Mike Grosz said...

But I can continue to say ...

"Life treats me far far better than I deserve." and

"Everything always works out for me."

There not extremes if they are true, correct?

Thanks much

saucybellum said...

Ohhhh, Mikey...

I've grown rather fond of your extremes in positive speech. You see, you say that life treats you far better than you deserve, but I can't think of anyone that deserves more great things than you do. You're pretty much a winner in all aspects of life. I'm just sayin'.

Julie said...

I hate cryptic FB posts more than anything in the WORLD!

You know what would be the BEST thing in the entire universe....Gary playing a harmonica.

whatnot said...

Julie--what an absolutely lovely idea. Gary playing the harmonica. Just the thought of it makes me smile. (Unless, of course, you are referring to a Gary that is a person, because some human named Gary playing the harmonica would not be all that interesting.)