My hair is not the worst thing ever. It's the best thing ever. Really. I paid good money for this style. It better be the best thing ever or I'm going to feel like the worst thing ever.

My hair is not the worst thing ever. It’s the best thing ever. I paid good money for this style. It better be the best thing ever or I’m going to feel like the worst person ever. It does hurt like the worst headache ever.

You hear them all of the time.

Everyone says them.

And it’s just the worst thing…ever!

Do you find the above statements, oh, I don’t know, hyperbolic? Histrionic? Schmaltzy?

As I listen to normal conversations, I notice that people have a tendency to overstate their cases.

Yes, they exaggerate (and by “they,” I mean “you and very rarely if ever, me”).

Perhaps an example will help clarify my point.

“The worst thing…ever”

This phrase has been used to describe or qualify any number of circumstances or annoyances you might encounter.

See if you have used this combination of words in this order to describe any of the following situations:

*When you get a paper cut

*When you lose a document on your computer

*Sitting in rush hour traffic even if it isn’t rush hour

*Having all the traffic lights turn red as you approach them in your car

*Burning the top of your mouth, lips, or tongue on the specialty coffee you just paid too much for

*Having to hold in a fart because you’re on your first date

*Someone taking “your” parking spot

*Slow internet speed

*When you lose reception with your digital TV/Internet provider

*You open the dishwasher to put in a dirty dish and it’s full of clean dishes

Okay, you get the picture.

Are these things really the worst things that could possibly happen to you or anyone else?

Think about it.

Yes, they are each annoying in their own way. Stress of any kind causes discomfort and bad mojo.

But, get a grip, People. Take a breath and check your reality meter.

Take a breath before getting into the "Test Your Gut Instinctalor 2." The first version of this contraption had a few glitches, but the families of the victims have all been compensated.

Take a breath before getting into the “Test Your Gut Instinctalor 2.” The first version of this contraption had a few glitches, but the families of the victims have all been compensated.

Let’s revisit that list and call it something different…

“The could be a lot worse thing”

*When you get a paper cut…is much better than getting a machete cut

*When you lose a document on your computer…is much better than losing a document on your typewriter (which takes effort, People)

*Sitting in rush hour traffic even if it isn’t rush hour…is much better than sitting a hospital waiting room for any reason

*Having all the traffic lights turn red as you approach them in your car…is much better than having them turn red as you are walking towards them

*Burning the top of your mouth, lips, or tongue on the specialty coffee you just paid too much for…is much better than being so poor that you have to drink regular coffee

*Having to hold in a fart because you’re on your first date…is much better than holding in a fart because you’re in Divorce Court

*Someone taking “your” parking spot…is much better than someone taking your car

*Slow internet speed…is much better than slow brain speed

*When you lose reception with your digital TV/Internet provider…is much better than when you lose reception in your hands or sensory organs

*You open the dishwasher to put in a dirty dish and it’s full of clean dishes…is much better than you look in the mirror to find your dishwasher

Got the picture?

So, remember to avoid exaggerations.

Start by noticing them.

I do believe you may have exaggerated your case when you said that the tea was the finest you had ever tasted. Come. Come. I used a Lipton tea bag from the 1980s.

I do believe you may have exaggerated your case when you said that the tea I served was the finest you had ever tasted. Come. Come. I used a Lipton tea bag from the 1980s.

It’s a rare behavior that everyone does.

It’s a rare word or phrase that everyone says.

It’s a rare fact that everyone knows.

It’s a rare thought that everyone thinks.

And not even I can’t say what is the best, worst, most beautiful, most evil, etc. person, place, thing, idea ever created. These notions are subjective and ever-changing, no matter how much some may wish to believe they are objective and fixed.

Oh, well if he says it's a fact, it must be true.

Oh, well if he says it’s a fact, it must be true. I wouldn’t exaggerate around him if I were you!

Do you exaggerate? Do tell!