Why Do We Say the Things We Don’t Mean

Many of the things we say in life are mechanical without actually meaning it. An excellent example of this is the greeting “good morning” with which we begin most of our days and conversations. While saying the term to the many that we encounter in the morning, we don’t even tend to notice the person who is being greeted. Most of our words and things we say are repetitive and as such what we say also becomes monotonous and devoid of feelings. Sometimes, life puts us in situations where we are required to say things simply to balance the situation, even though it may not quite be the truth. This is fine as long as it happens once in a while. However, this is not the case, because very soon people make it a habit to lie all be it intentionally.

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Sometimes things are simply spoken to avoid hurting the person we are speaking to or even to please the person momentarily and we may end up making commitments which we may not remember to keep in the future. Sometimes we may see that people are sad and we are instantly forced to speak a lie to make them happy. At such times we may be well aware of the fact that meeting the deadline or keeping the promise would not be possible in the future, yet we are forced from within to make the promise and commitment. Although the intentions may be good, we are not able to keep promises since what had been saying was done at the spur of the moment only to handle that particular situation in life, without the actual intention or commitment to upholding the obligation.

This paper attempts to analyze why people say the things they do when they don’t mean them, through different people and the situations which may force them to do so.

Mechanism becomes a part of life and human tend to do things simply because they have to, without actually intending the meanings behind the things they say. For instance, when parents have growing children they set the rules for them so that children adhere to these rules and lead a good life devoid of sex and drugs. The situation is more pronounced in the case of single parents or single mothers who have the dual responsibility of running the house and playing the role of both, the father as well as the mother. In doing so, mothers become have to assert the value of discipline in their adolescent children and firmly tell them that if the actions are not appropriate, the consequences would also be severe.

Nevertheless, when rules are broken by children, parents, especially single parents require tremendous efforts and motivation to do and behave in the manner in which they are expected to if a rule has been broken by the child. Parents do not have the will and determination to adhere to what has been said by them earlier and are unable to keep their word with the children. This sends the wrong message across to the children who then develop the confidence to continue with their inactions as a result of the failure on behalf of the parents to act according to their warnings.

Either, parents should simply not say the things they say or must adhere and act according to what they have said. Laying rules for the child and warning the child to play by these rules is a good thing, but if the parent is unable to keep the word then the consequences of the warning are bad for the child as well as the parents. The child soon learns that parents only speak and do not act, while the parents feel helpless that they cannot harm the child physically, even at the cost of losing their self-respect in front of the children.

There are many other situations in life where we encounter this problem of people saying things but not acting according to what has been said. Those who have had any kind of experience with building a house would know that all contractors have one answer to all the questions and queries. Whether we ask them the approximate time to complete the work or to get the necessary permits, they come up with one single answer to suit all occasions, “twp weeks”. It seems funny but it’s true! When a plumber states that he would be at your place to complete the work within two weeks, he means a full month!

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This is not it. Everyone, almost every one of the laborers who you need to correct something in your house will promise to come by and fix the work in two weeks. Even when the electrician is required for a simple job of correcting the dining room light as it has been completely put in the wrong direction, he will promise to come and fix it in…………….yes, you’re right, two weeks. Even the city inspector who is required to come by when you are building a house will not come before two weeks and when he arrives you are likely to be informed that you don’t need him but a soil engineer because the house is being built on a hillside. This man would also assert that he will come by in two weeks but in reality, the waiting period will be much more than two weeks.

Indeed, the situation of anyone who is building a house has been appropriately illustrated in the movie “Money Pit” which has popularized the famous phrase of the contractors, “two weeks”. I often wonder why contractors simply fail to provide the facts and tell them the problems instead of simply saying that the work would be completed in two weeks. If the only contractor would truthfully explain their problems and affirm the correct time required for the completion of the work, this would save the trouble to them as well as those who require their services. Besides, people would begin to trust them better and not consider their words and promises as being hollow.

Even at the familial level, there are differences between the spouses and in an attempt to hurt either partner, we end up saying the most hurtful and disgusting things to one another without actually meaning a word of what we say. The fights are like volcanoes that erupt after immense bottling up of pressure, which ends up in a horrific eruption. The tongue is mightier than the sword and the mean things which the tongue is used to utter, do much damage. Many times, there are feelings of regret after the fight is over, but sadly, it’s too late, since the damage has been done. This again is a classic example of saying things that are not actually meant and only to hurt the partner to give vent to all the frustrations which have been bottled up inside.

In some cases, the saying of unintended things extends even after the fight is over. Indeed, following the fight, couples may resort to saying nice and sweet things to each other to patch things up. In an attempt to erase the scars of the verbal damage, the episode of saying things that are not meant continues, only this time the situation is more pleasant than the earlier fight and to make one another feel good and happy.

Another excellent situation that depicts the falsity of human words is the innumerable false promises made by politicians. Shameless that they are, they continue to promise the citizens that they would bring about great changes in society and subsequently in the lives of the citizens. The conviction with which these politicians speak time and again is indeed appalling. For, so much damage has been done to their image over the years, that the word politician is now often associated with being a liar. They promise to change society, they promise to end the problems of unemployment, they promise to end inflation, they promise to make things cheaper, they promise healthcare to the millions in the country, they promise to make schooling available to all the children…………..the list of promises is an endless one. But very few have actually worked hard to ensure that these promises are realized and people have benefited.

When we sit to analyze this situation, we realize that what we say and how we say things is a result of the multifaceted world in which we live and aspire to survive. The complex and intelligent human brain could influence our thinking process and has a great impact on how and what we think through our interpretation of the world. It is this impact and influence of the world that shapes our minds and plays a vital role in what we say and how we say it. As little children we have learned the ways of the world from our parents and have learned to react the way our parents have reacted to the world, additionally, friends, society, and schools play an important part in shaping our actions and behaviors.

The world is ever-changing and it is often necessary to change with the world. But it’s high time that we realize that we are the ones who change the world and we must take a constructive step in changing it for the better. There are immense lies and falsity in the world and unless we have the grit and determination to stop this falsity, the world will continue as a false place. Every person must take that one step forward to decide to change the world, by changing oneself. There is no problem even if a handful of us get together and take that first step; for drops of water make an ocean.

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StudyCorgi. (2021, October 13). Why Do We Say the Things We Don’t Mean. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/why-do-we-say-the-things-we-dont-mean/

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StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Why Do We Say the Things We Don’t Mean'. 13 October.

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