Saturday, November 3, 2012

Words - Good, Bad, Ugly, Necessary?

Many of you know that I have a few words that I consider not nice words.  Not the four-letter profanity type words.  No, these are words that some people might think convey caring.  I consider them more toxic.  Here, it's better if I just give you an example and a reason why I feel that way:

WORRY - "I worry whether he'll get home safely."  "I'm worried that I didn't turn the gas off."  You get the idea.  Not necessarily a bad thing if it propels you in the right direction to work on what you are worried about. BUT..."It makes no sense to worry about things you have no control over because there's nothing you can do about them, and why worry about things you do control? The activity of worrying keeps you immobilized."  Wayne Dyer
SHOULD - "You should really go to the dinner."  "She shouldn't dress that way."  Judgement call.  Plain and simple.  If you are saying "should", that's an opinion. Specifically, YOUR opinion.  As long as you present it as your opinion that the receiver may accept or reject, that's fine.  But I'm thinking many times, it's not used like that. 

DISAPPOINT - "I'm so disappointed that he won't finish his last year in college."  "I'm disappointed that you made the choice you made."  A disappointment is failure to fulfill the hopes and expectations of someone.  To what purpose does this enrich anyone's life?  Either for the "disappointed" or the "disappointer". 

PITY - "What a pity that she doesn't realize she shouldn't wear that outfit."  Although this used to be similar to "sympathy" or "empathy", it has a condescending connotation or implies superiority of the person doing the "pitying".  

BLAME - No need to give you an example here.  Everyone knows what blame is.  Hell, we blamed the dog or cat when we were little. But it accomplishes nothing.  And usually has an effect of making a person feel that they SHOULD have done something, or that they DISAPPOINTED someone, or that they should WORRY about what the consequences will be.

I had a conversation with a local businessman this past week.  It turns out the job that I sent to him for printing came back with a huge error that made it impossible for us to mail out.  So he took back all the material and rectified it within a day.  The man is a joy to work with!!  But in our conversation, I said to him, "I'm so sorry about this."  His response was, "No need for that.  It's nothing you did wrong."  I already knew that but I was still sorry he was in this situation.  I think our society has forgotten that the word "sorry" doesn't always imply "blame."  Hmmmm.... I blame the justice system for that!!!

Wishing you a worry-free day!!

Interesting note:  I started this post exactly one year ago and it's been in my drafts this whole time.  How bizarre is that!!!


Leanne said...

LOVE this list of unfavorable words, Peg. and agree whole heartedly with you. I love your list and your explanations behind them. As reading this, I really thought good and hard about my own use of these words, and have to say . . . I don't think I use them often. With the exception of worry . . . I use it regularly, and specifically when referencing my daughters. But I will say that I am a frequent user of "sorry", which annoys many in my life. I use it not as blame, or to take blame upon myself for any situation, but to genuinely emote care, concern and compassion to the person I say it to. But it is rarely taken that way. Hmmmmm . . . Makes me think. GREAT 'old' post, PK!!!

Ms. A said...

All words I'm very familiar with, although pity is tricky. I'm more of a sympathy, empathy, type. Worry is my middle name! I worry when it does me absolutely no good and solves nothing.

Good to see you!