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Cliche Remarks that Go Nowhere in Conversation

Cliche Remarks that Go Nowhere in Conversation

It’s no secret that people overuse cliches. If these phrases weren’t overused, they wouldn’t be cliches, would they? When these phrases are used, though, the speaker’s lack of personality, originality, and interest shines right through. They might as well hold up a sign that says “I don’t care enough about this conversation to come up with something personable to say!” I’m not saying this is always the case, but you should always take care not to say any of the following in order to avoid annoying or insulting the person you’re speaking with.

1. “At the end of the day…”

People throw this around as if to say “regardless of everything else you just said, what I’m about to say is the only thing that matters.” It doesn’t matter how valid the other person’s point is; it’s not being taken into consideration. Using this cliche shows a lack of critical thinking skills, and that the speaker only thinks in terms of black and white. “At the end of the day, [arbitrary decision] must be done, no questions asked.” Why not? Are you afraid someone actually might bring up a good idea that you won’t be able to refute?

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2. “I know what you mean…”

Do you really? Granted, this is usually used by those who have been doing whatever they can do comfort a distraught friend, and sometimes enough is enough. But rather than being honest with the friend who seems intent on bringing everyone else around him down to his level, you swallow your pride and keep “yes-ing” him to death. You’re not doing him any favors by agreeing with him on points that you don’t actually agree with. And you’re definitely not helping yourself by wasting your time in a cyclical, one-sided conversation, either.

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3. “With all due respect…”

Nothing good ever comes after those four words. If someone ever says that to you, what they really mean is: “I’m about to say something really mean, but I don’t want you to think I’m actually that rude…even though I am.” People tend to think that prefacing a jabbing statement with “with all due respect” totally absolves them of any backlash from the person they’re speaking to. It doesn’t work that way. You’re going to hurt someone’s feelings, and they’re going to retaliate one way or another.

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4. “Isn’t that always the way?”

This goes along with “I know what you mean.” It usually goes along with listening to a friend’s sob story about how their girlfriend dumped them, or they got laid off from their job, or they just had a terrible day. Though you do care about them, saying something like this usually means “I care about you, but not enough to give you some helpful advice.” Although I can’t blame you if the person dumping their problems on you never takes your advice in the first place. In that case, I guess you could resort to this cliche. If they’re not really listening anyway, what difference does your response make?

5. “It is what it is”

Coming full circle, saying “it is what it is” generally means “I definitely disagree with the way things are, but who am I to change them?” This is a defeatist attitude that goes against everything we’ve been taught our entire lives. Nothing truly ever “is what it is”; things are the way they are because people allow them to be that way. It’s sort of the opposite of “at the end of the day.” While “at the end of the day” tends to come from someone in a supervisory position and is directed at an employee, “it is what it is” is usually a colleague-to-colleague statement lamenting the current situation they both find themselves in. Don’t ever let yourself be so downtrodden that you truly believe you can’t make a difference.

Featured photo credit: Bored / Paul Want via farm8.staticflickr.com

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Last Updated on December 10, 2019

5 Smart Reasons to Start Journal Writing Today

5 Smart Reasons to Start Journal Writing Today

Here’s the truth: your effectiveness at life is not what it could be. You’re missing out.

Each day passes by and you have nothing to prove that it even happened. Did you achieve something? Go on a date? Have an emotional breakthrough? Who knows?

But what you do know is that you don’t want to make the same mistakes that you’ve made in the past.

Our lives are full of hidden gems of knowledge and insight, and the most recent events in our lives contain the most useful gems of all. Do you know why? It’s simple, those hidden lessons are the most up to date, meaning they have the largest impact on what we’re doing right now.

But the question is, how do you get those lessons? There’s a simple way to do it, and it doesn’t involve time machines:

Journal writing.

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Improved mental clarity, the ability to see our lives in the big picture, as well as serving as a piece of evidence cataloguing every success we’ve ever had; we are provided all of the above and more by doing some journal writing.

Journal writing is a useful and flexible tool to help shed light on achieving your goals.

Here’s 5 smart reasons why you should do journal writing:

1. Journals Help You Have a Better Connection with Your Values, Emotions, and Goals

By journaling about what you believe in, why you believe it, how you feel, and what your goals are, you understand your relationships with these things better. This is because you must sort through the mental clutter and provide details on why you do what you do and feel what you feel.

Consider this:

Perhaps you’ve spent the last year or so working at a job you don’t like. It would be easy to just suck it up and keep working with your head down, going on as if it’s supposed to be normal to not like your job. Nobody else is complaining, so why should you, right?

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But a little journal writing will set things straight for you. You don’t like your job. You feel like it’s robbing you of happiness and satisfaction, and you don’t see yourself better there in the future.

The other workers? Maybe they don’t know, maybe they don’t care. But you do, you know and care enough to do something about it. And you’re capable of fixing this problem because your journal writing allows you to finally be honest with yourself about it.

2. Journals Improve Mental Clarity and Help Improve Your Focus

If there’s one thing journal writing is good for, it’s clearing the mental clutter.

How does it work? Simply, whenever you have a problem and write about it in a journal, you transfer the problem from your head to the paper. This empties the mind, allowing allocation of precious resources to problem-solving rather than problem-storing.

Let’s say you’ve been juggling several tasks at work. You’ve got data entry, testing, e-mails, problems with the boss, and so on—enough to overwhelm you—but as you start journal writing, things become clearer and easier to understand: Data entry can actually wait till Thursday; Bill kindly offered earlier to do my testing; For e-mails, I can check them now; the boss is just upset because Becky called in sick, etc.

You become better able to focus and reason your tasks out, and this is an indispensable and useful skill to have.

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3. Journals Improve Insight and Understanding

As a positive consequence of improving your mental clarity, you become more open to insights you may have missed before. As you write your notes out, you’re essentially having a dialogue with yourself. This draws out insights that you would have missed otherwise; it’s almost as if two people are working together to better understand each other. This kind of insight is only available to the person who has taken the time to connect with and understand themselves in the form of writing.

Once you’ve gotten a few entries written down, new insights can be gleaned from reading over them. What themes do you see in your life? Do you keep switching goals halfway through? Are you constantly dating the same type of people who aren’t good for you? Have you slowly but surely pushed people out of your life for fear of being hurt?

All of these questions can be answered by simply self-reflecting, but you can only discover the answers if you’ve captured them in writing. These questions are going to be tough to answer without a journal of your actions and experiences.

4. Journals Track Your Overall Development

Life happens, and it can happen fast. Sometimes we don’t take the time to stop and look around at what’s happening to us at each moment. We don’t get to see the step-by-step progress that we’re making in our own lives. So what happens? One day it’s the future, and you have no idea how you’ve gotten there.

Journal writing allows you to see how you’ve changed over time, so you can see where you did things right, and you can see where you took a misstep and fell.

The great thing about journals is that you’ll know what that misstep was, and you can make sure it doesn’t happen again—all because you made sure to log it, allowing yourself to learn from your mistakes.

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5. Journals Facilitate Personal Growth

The best thing about journal writing is that no matter what you end up writing about, it’s hard to not grow from it. You can’t just look at a past entry in which you acted shamefully and say “that was dumb, anyway!” No, we say “I will never make a dumb choice like that again!”

It’s impossible not to grow when it comes to journal writing. That’s what makes journal writing such a powerful tool, whether it’s about achieving goals, becoming a better person, or just general personal-development. No matter what you use it for, you’ll eventually see yourself growing as a person.

Kickstart Journaling

How can journaling best be of use to you? To vent your emotions? To help achieve your goals? To help clear your mind? What do you think makes journaling such a useful life skill?

Know the answer? Then it’s about time you reap the benefits of journal writing and start putting pen to paper.

Here’s what you can do to start journaling:

Featured photo credit: Jealous Weekends via unsplash.com

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