Watch your words! (DW#421)

We all want to enjoy great relationships with the people that matter most and others whom we are in regular contact with. Our spouses and our children, our friends and community members, siblings and parents. People at work and in the neighborhood.

Sometimes, though, despite our best intentions, we say things that drive these same people way from us.

For the next few days, let’s explore some phrases and things that we say that can be annoying, that shut down communication, damage intimacy and distance our loved ones.

Today’s phrase is wildly popular on social media and via instant messaging: "just sayin’".


Here is how the Urban dictionary defines it:
  • a term coined to be used at the end of something insulting or offensive to take the heat off you when you say it.
  • The punctuation people put at the end of an unsolicited, fact-less assertion to indicate self-satisfaction at having stated something they erroneously believe to be clever, biting, and insightful.(ouch!!)
To put it more gently, this phrase is often used when we express something which is potentially uncomfortable, rude or controversial. We feel anxious about expressing this thought and so we try to pass it off as just a passing thought – as in you cannot hold me accountable for my passing thoughts – I’m just sayin’.  As in, I am saying this, but please do not engage in debate or discussion with me about my opinion on this.
Instead of "just sayin’", how about taking responsibility for our words and opinions? And the fact that we are hoping that others are influenced by them.

If we are concerned about our loved one’s behaviour, for example, instead of ‘just sayin’ something, how about sharing our concerns:

-     I really want you to consider a different option

-     I believe that this is not a good idea to pursue

-     I do not like it when x happens

Let us be mindful of our words so that they have impact and influence when we utter them.

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