It’s not me. It’s you.

Occasionally, it comes to my attention that certain phrases are over-used on the internet. Cliches -if you will- that we see bounced back and forth between the good people of the world wide web out to tackle their problems one inspirational quote at a time. Generally, I pay little notice to these things and even sometimes I may nod in agreement and say out loud “oh, that’s deep.”

First off, I’m all for expressing one’s self with words. Obviously.

That’s not my issue. Writing has helped me work through a multitude of different problems, emotions, issues, etc. I wouldn’t give up writing for the world, and most of the time when someone writes- whether it is a status update or a novel- it is because the writer has something to say. Writing even just a sentence can help, but it’s important to remember that it won’t solve anything- only nudge, sway, clarify, maybe open a door of some variety.

Photo: Tom Newby

The problem with these sayings I’m referring to is that they are rife with platitude and quite often… bullshit. Add to that the fact that ever so often, these words are used as a crutch. An excuse. Or even worse some form of validation the person needs, to assure that they themselves are not in the slightest at fault for whatever situation they are posting about. A sort of I feel bad but it’s okay because of reason-karma-just sayin’-etc.

And honestly, I get it. I really do, but there comes a time when something should just be put to rest. And in my opinion, the time has come for the following phrases…

“Love is blind” 

Example of when it pisses me off: You and your girlfriends are sitting around watching a chick flick starring Ashton Kutcher and whichever cute actress is hip at the moment. One of those girlfriends just recently broke up with her boyfriend and she’s recounting all of the ways that he sucked- tales you’ve probably already heard numerous times. Then, with no warning, someone says in an attempt to better explain their friend’s stupidity for staying with him, “it’s not your fault. Love is blind!” 

Very few people that I know that have been with a person they deemed shitty or in a relationship that made them miserable have been blind to it. They know. They are well aware and will even say it out loud, but they choose to ignore it. Not even necessarily ignore it, but rather just avoid it until it blows up in their face. More or less, love is not blind. Love is all-seeing but occasionally stupid. Love doesn’t want to listen or believe or accept the facts that are staring the person down eye-to-eye… but it sees them. Love has already called all of her besties and asked what will I ever do?! Love has already heard the same advice over and over and over. Love has already snooped through his cell phone and read his diary and followed him all stalkery-like after he left a place. Love has already realized it’s not even love at all, but waited until the last possible minute to acknowledge it. That’s not blindness. It’s just an inability to accept what one doesn’t want to believe.

(Side Note: If you are going to try and say that it is expressing that one may not see a person’s faults that are trivial- such as a pimple on their chin or the fact that they snore or something of that nature- please refrain. My boyfriend has feet that smell so bad sometimes you can catch a whiff from the other end of the house. I choose not to break up with him over it, and love him all the same, but I definitely am aware of it.)

“Everything bad happens in threes” 

Example of when it pisses me off: Any single time it is used.

What math are you doing to come to this conclusion? What equation have you discovered that has an answer to how many bad things occur in a row? I’m curious. Maybe I just missed it because math is not my strong suit. As people, we have a natural tendency to lump things into groups and categories, so I get it. But seriously, this is not science. It has no backing in the everyday life of you. It has no backing anywhere. I could probably relate it to any day I have ever lived. That doesn’t make it a fact. It’s a strange superstition that doesn’t really make sense and yet, people keep using it.

(Side note: Seriously, please stop.)

“The kindest people suffer the most”

Example of when it pisses me off: You’re staring at your Facebook newsfeed and then- ope- a status refreshes from the biggest Debbie Downer in the world saying something related to the above cliche. You know, the person who says they want to die every day, constantly bitches about how everyone is at fault but themselves, and has deemed it impossible to catch a break -ever- in the whole of their lives… Yeah, that person. Well, now they’re blaming kindness for suffering.

This is also just straight-up false statement. It’s just not true. Anyone that thinks it is, is slightly delusional. Or fully delusional. That could be also. The truly kind people of the world? They would never say this. Yeah, because they know it’s not true. Bad situations and instances do not go out actively seeking people with big hearts. It’s hit or miss just like any other thing in life. Bad things happen to good people and vice versa. In all of my 27 years, I have never met a miserable, kind person. They’re overall a happy bunch. In fact, if we must dive into science, studies show that it is entirely the opposite: the more kind you are, the happier you are. Don’t believe me, sufferers of the world? Read this in which it says (and I quote) “kindness is an antidote to pain and suffering.” Another thing to take into consideration is the overwhelming research that shows that happy people are much more kind than unhappy people. (I think that may also be common sense, but I could be wrong…) So, if you’re really full of misery and suffering, there’s a good chance you’re simply not as kind as you claim.

(Side Note: Here’s a full scientific study on how happiness and kindness go hand-in-hand. Read it and weep… some more.)

“What goes around comes around- karma

Example of when it pisses me off: You and your girlfriends just went to see the newest Twilight installment. One of them- the chick fresh from her breakup- then spots her douchey boyfriend -whose douchiness she was blind to because of visionless love- coming out with his new chick. She stops in her tracks and after realizing he would have never gone to see Twilight with her and then vomiting some curse words, she proclaims “Whatever. What goes around comes around. Karma’s a bitch.”

This single phrase seemingly represents a whole generation of people. My generation. But not in the way it should be used. To some extent, I do believe that you get what you put out into the world. But no, my generation has one-upped themselves by throwing in karma. Karma this. Karma that. Did you know that karma is stalking every single girl’s ex-boyfriend right now? Karma is lurking in the shadows waiting to ruin all of your enemies’ days. First, most people have no understanding of karma apparently. It transcends lives. That is to say, that you may never get to see karma being a bitch to whoever you took it upon yourself to verbally thrust the universe against. In fact, you probably won’t. Second, people seem to think karma only affects others and not them. When something bad happens to someone else? Karma. They deserved it. But when something bad happens to them? Not karma. They didn’t deserve it. It must be suffering for being so kind, and someone else is going to pay karmically for it soon enough… Guys, seriously, that doesn’t make sense. If what goes around, actually does come around, then wouldn’t it stand to reason that anything bad that happened to you was just coming around from whatever you started going around previously?

(Side Note: Karma is actually not a bitch. She’s rather kind.)

“Everything happens for a reason”

Example of when it pisses me off: You lose your job. “Everything happens for a reason.” Your car’s engine explodes. “Everything happens for a reason.” Your dog dies. “Everything happens for a reason.” Your boyfriend is caught beating off to Justin Bieber. “Everything happens for a reason.” You get cancer. “Everything happens for a reason.” You find fleas on your cat. “Everything happens for  reason.” You get eaten by a killer whale while trying to rescue a sea turtle in the north pacific and your last thought is the cure for AIDS. “Everything happens for a reason.”

You get the point. This statement has some merit to it in that, yes, everything does happen for a reason due to that whole cause and effect thing, but not a big looming reason that guides us through our lives to teach us a wealth of lessons and lead us to our ultimate destiny. You lost your job? Maybe you sucked at it. Maybe you were always late. Maybe you had a fire-hungry boss who didn’t like the fact that you were more handsome than he. There was a reason, but it’s a reason that finds its footing right here on Earth.

(Side note: I particularly like when people add to this one by saying “everything happens for a reason, but sometimes you’re just stupid.” Uh, yeah. Well, maybe you’re stupid for a reason then.)

“Just saying” 

Example of when it pisses me off: Any time anyone ever says it pretty much ever. “I really like corn flakes. Just sayin’.” Or “Everyone hates me ’cause they’re jealous. Just sayin’.” Or “Does anyone actually care? Just sayin’.” Or any variation of it in any way.

We get it. You just said it. You don’t have to remind us you just said it. Oddly enough, this phrase usually comes after something that should never have been said in the first place: a not-so-funny joke, a rude or snarky comment, or a statement so bland it would bore a dead guy further into death.

(Side note: In order to get the full douche factor of this phrase you have to drop the ‘g’ and just say it with a bit of a ghetto favor. Just saying is only marginally as douchey as just sayin’. You know, just to really prove that you just said it.)

Here’s the thing. I’m sure the very first- maybe even the second- time that these things were said, they were witty, pertinent, possibly even on-point. They probably made sense. But much in the same way that when you say a single word over and over, these phrases have lost their meaning and just sound like the same tired and banal sayings that every other person has used to explain away a bad joke, a bad situation, a bad feeling.

But my least favorite, can’t stand it, we need to shelve it now, over-used phrase of all time?

“Well said”

Example of when it pisses me off: Somebody just updated their status with one of the cliches I mentioned above. Someone else ‘likes’ that status and then underneath comments “well said.”

You’re saying it to the wrong person, number one. If somebody writes out one of the above cliches –they didn’t actually say that– even if they were just sayin’ they said it. Someone else did a long time ago in the olden days. Number two, most people only use the term “well said” to validate their own ideals or opinions. They wouldn’t write “well said” underneath something if they disagreed– even if it was expressed darn right well. It’s only used as a self-serving phrase instead of as a compliment in regards to the words that someone chose to use.

(Side note: For some reason whenever I read that phrase I always picture the author sitting at home donning a Sherlock Holmes deerstalker cap and a singular round spectacle, while sipping coffee from a mini-teacup, when suddenly, they read something so profound they had no choice but to shout “Spot on, ol’ chap!”)

I’m just as guilty as the next for having used certain figures-of-speech that are redundant. I am not claiming that I haven’t. Let’s just give some of them a break for a while. That’s all.

(Situations you should never use cliches: break-ups, college essays, wedding vows, and apocalypses.)

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3 Responses to It’s not me. It’s you.

  1. Christine says:

    Well said.

    I am hoping for the sequel: Clichés – It Wasn’t Mean to Be. Or perhaps a trilogy, with the third title: Everything Happens for a Reason.

  2. JD says:

    Hello! This post couldn’t be written any better! Reading this post reminds me of my good old room mate! He always kept chatting about this. I will forward this article to him. Fairly certain he will have a good read. Thank you for sharing!

  3. Leo says:

    Wow that was odd. I just wrote a very long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t show up. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Anyway, just wanted to say great blog!

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