Oh, by the way. My birthday is coming up and I’ve decided my gift to myself this year is to swear more. It’s one more way I’m going off script from allowing the expectations of others to control me. I mean, really. When someone is more worried about avoiding the word fuck than keeping their children away from sexual predators, that is some disordered thinking right there. I believe in the power of words, and I think the more words that are at someone’s disposal, the better. If you’ve ever been abused or controlled by another human being, allowing yourself to use words that were once off limits are especially important.
Which brings me to why I absolutely fucking hate platitudes, and the insipid people who say them. Platitudes are the lowest form of human thought. They are the cockroaches of words. Is there really anything less emotionally shallow than offering an “everything will all work out,” or “God is in control” when someone bares their soul to you? It’s just awful. I mean, damn it. Some people have the emotional intelligence of a cucumber.
When people say things like, “time heals all wounds,” or “forgive and forget,” especially to anyone who has ever gone through an actual life experience, what they really mean is this. “I am an asshole who has zero capacity to encounter human emotion. It scares the shit out of me. Therefore, I am going to say something to make you go away before any of your reality gets on me and I have to think about unpleasant things.” People who have nothing to offer but platitudes are running from their own pain. They are so terrified of real feelings, they go into Betty Crocker Robot mode. It’s a defense mechanism. Feelings are threatening to them, and because they’ve numbed out all of theirs, all they have to offer anyone is a heap of steaming bullshit in the form of, “God never gives us more than we can handle.”
The only proper response to a platitude is Fuck You. “After the storm the sun will shine.” Fuck You. “It could be worse.” Fuck You. “God has a plan for you.” Fuck you.
The proper response to anyone who shares a feeling, struggle, or any real thought or emotion is to listen. If you can’t relate to someone’s pain, a “that sucks” is a far more emotionally astute observation than, “just think how much worse other people have it.” But of course, the people whose interest was piqued by the title of this post already know this. The ones who need to hear this the most are the ones who are too offended to read this. Isn’t it interesting that the people who hide behind a platitude are the same ones who are scandalized in the presence of a “dirty” word?