Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Whatever. It's a word that I use a lot. It means a lot of things to me, I guess. It's a non-committal word at times. It can also mean that I don't care. It is sometimes said with a certain tone called frustration. It can be lighthearted and silly in some cases. Sometimes it just really means that my brain hurts and I'm tired of the conversation and it's seeming pointlessness. It means I give up!!

One word with so many nuances. At times saying "whatever" is a way to avoid being real and honest. At least it is for me. Now every one of you is scrolling back in your memories to see if I've ever said "whatever" to you and you're wondering what it meant. I'm going to be honest. It probably was my way of conceding and not really saying what I might be feeling on the inside.

We all have words like this, words we use to get around touchy subjects or things that we just can't face. Words like "whatever", "maybe", "I don't know", and "I'll see" are all words that hold uncertainty. They are usually also conversation killers. They are words that signal that the end is nigh. There will be no more information forthcoming. There will be no commitment. There will be no going deeper.

I sometimes imagine what it would be like if every person said what they really meant all the time. If people  felt they could express their wishes, their desires, even their dislike in a way that was not grouchy or aggressive but in peace yet totally honest, I think relationships would be different. There wouldn't be the tip-toeing around certain topics or the feeling like you always have to hold yourself back for fear of what other people might think if you told it like it is. I would like to banish "whatever" from my vocabulary. I would like to say what I think and not feel like it's stupid. I would like to be able to say even challenging, hard-to-hear words with grace and kindness instead of fear. I would love it if people talked like that to me too. Imagine if parents, politicians, judges, lawyers, doctors, teachers, bankers, accountants, business people, and kids all felt they had freedom just to say what they were really thinking and were able to say them with love? Words are powerful. How do you use them?


  1. Whatever is a "placeholder word" :) There was a Sarah Dessen book i read that talked about them.. Words like "interesting" and "nice", used to avoid saying what you really think about something.


  2. Sofia!!
    How are you doing in lovely Argentina! Miss your hugs! Thanks for reading across the miles! I will have to do some research now about placeholder words...thanks for the info!! Hugs!