Monday, April 30, 2012

Use your words

Someone once wrote:

"In the past my kids have tended to expect to be waited on hand and foot."

I responded:

If you use phrases like "to be waited on hand and foot," you're quoting other people. That usually means the other person's voice is in your head, shaming you. Or it means you've adopted some anti-kid attitudes without really examining them. If you're having a feeling, translate it into your own words. It's a little freaky how people can channel their parents and grandparents by going on automatic and letting those archaic phrases flow through us. Anything you haven't personally examined in the light of your current beliefs shouldn't be uttered, in my opinion. Anything I can't say in my own words hasn't really been internalized by me. As long as I'm simply quoting others, I can bypass conscious, careful thought.
photo by Sandra Dodd


  1. I think this is a brilliant framing to help catch automatic, unquestioned thinking. I'd never really thought about phraseology as authentic or implanted but of course, 98 percent of it is learned from others (we've accrued some silly family memes, punchlines and code phrases over the years.)
    Even if in any given sentence you don't catch yourself uttering other people's words (people you really wouldn't want to emulate, if you sat down and examined it closely) you will still become much more aware of what you are saying.

  2. Thanks, Sue.

    I'm not opposed to all idiomatic expression, just all negative and put-down language blurted out without thought. :-)


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