Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Useful Useless Phrases

I’ve had a few days of hearing third-party stories about somebody being up to their usual rubbish. The somebody in question stretches across several roles (ex-boyfriend, ex-wife, former roommate, recently departed co-worker) but the crux of each story boiled down to the storyteller being immune to the shtick that’s utilized by that certain somebody.

I’ve considered these stories (along with a few past examples of a somebody or two in my own life), and found more than a few common threads between them. These patterns of statement/reality aren’t set in stone of course, and it’s more than possible that if a near and dear friend (or former friend) tries one of these lines on you, they might be utterly sincere. That said, the karmic boomerang is being flung, and here are my recent findings…

Statement: “This might surprise you, but I’ve thought about you a lot lately.”

Reality: I need money/a character witness

Statement: “I’m not afraid to speak my mind.”
Reality: Speaks their mind frequently, but so little is gained by anyone involved.

Statement: “I’m not always polite, but I’m always honest.”
Reality: Never polite, honest only about their own requirements and how these should be put before anybody else’s.

Statement: “Sometimes I think that the world needs more direct people like me.”
Reality: It really doesn’t.

Statement: “Sometimes I’m not so good at listening.”
Reality: They have selective hearing, which inevitably ignores anything they find unpleasant, unflattering, or affecting their wallet.

Statement: “I make as many mistakes as the next guy, but I keep trying.”
Reality: Make more mistakes. Ignores them.

Statement: “I don’t think that some people get my sense of humour.”
Reality: They weren’t funny, or are trying to get out of a situation by claiming their sense of humour was too broad or sophisticated to be truly appreciated by those affected by the comments (the kitten-eater effect)

Statement: “I’ve spent days crying about this.”
Reality: An unverifiable claim. Would be exhausting. The cost in Kleenex alone is prohibitive. Therapy is recommended.

Statement: “I don’t see any point in dwelling on ‘I’m sorry’ when I know it’s more productive to keep going on.”
Reality: Most often said by somebody running away from something.

Statement: “Since this all started, I’ve taken a lot of comfort in my faith.”
Reality: Not worth listening to by anyone who has recently a) pled guilty, b) is clearing out their desk under the watchful eye of security guards, or c) is trying to borrow money.

Statement: “I’m willing to wipe the blackboard clean, and I know you’re mature enough to want the same thing.”
Reality: Check for fresh chalk in their back pockets.

Statement: “I think I’ve learned a lot about myself.”
Reality: They haven’t.


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