Exaggerations, They’re the Worst!

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!

~ by Lorna's Voice on May 19, 2015.

32 Responses to “Exaggerations, They’re the Worst!”

  1. Welcome to the human race! We all do. Noticing is a great start. 🙂

  2. I can relate to almost all of those ‘worst things ever’. Funny, my husband always says ‘You’re alive aren’t you?’ Whenever I happen to make a ‘worst thing ever’ complaint. I take a pause and realize it’s so easy to get frustrated and forget sometimes to be grateful for all the good. 🙂

  3. And this is the best comment ever written in the history of all blog post comments–seriously!

  4. Thanks for the reminder of how good live is instead of how bad it could be.

    Plus, this is the most fabulous post ever written in the history of blog posts. and I’m not exaggerating.

  5. There you go! Oh, well, I didn’t mean to be insensitive to your grief or loss (of either your relative or your internet), but that was a great example of what I was talking about. Um. Thanks Margie. 😐

  6. That’s it! We’re stuck in Junior High! Only you could make sense of this, Elyse. Thanks!

  7. That’s one way to avoid overstating your case!

  8. A little perspective can be a good thing! And experiencing different cultures is fascinating. Language is a way to understand a people in more ways than one!

  9. Thanks so much. And it would totally be the end of the world if we stopped exaggerating! 😉

  10. Al, I’m so happy to know that you, only you, are immune to exaggeration. Whew!

  11. Thanks. I was taking a morning walk (can’t help myself–I walked my doggies every morning for 40 years!) and came up with this post…walks are good for my creativity!

  12. Oh, Tina! I burst out laughing! I feel for you. I really do! She called to tell me. She actually called!

  13. In America, we would totally miss understatement. Kind of like a whisper at a rock concert… 😉

  14. Not, you, C. You’re the Best Non-Exaggerater Ever!

  15. Yeah, like middle age–that’s totally the best! 🙂

  16. I bet Ellen (DeGeneres) wouldn’t want to hear you talking that way!

  17. Ha! But which ones? Well at least you noticed. That’s the first step…

  18. When I find myself doing this, I repeat a great line from Blades of Glory: why has God singled me out for the greatest suffering mankind has every known? Helps put things into perspective.

  19. Guilty, as charged. I love how you take wisdom and share it with humor. You are the very best blogger in the cyber-sphere! Really. By the way–my guilty plea is specific to more than a few of your examples.

  20. You’re the funniest thing ever, Lorna!

  21. I know exaggerations are sooooo annoying. It’s like there are only extremes, things are always the best thing ever or the worst thing ever. I think teens are particularly guilty of this. I say bring back the middle ground, the middle ground is our friend!

  22. I would never ever ever exaggerate, ever!!!!

  23. Both truth and humour in a single post. In England I think we often use understatement instead of overstatement, but it amounts to distortion just the same.

  24. Mom not having dish/satilite coverage-worst week ever!!! I had to find movies for her to watch.
    Nice sentiment. Be grateful be very very grateful! I am 🙂

  25. Lotta truth, my friend. 🙂

  26. Best post by anyone in the world, ever!

  27. Writers embellish so it’s hard not to do the same in real life. It might be the end of the world if I stop:) Good post, Lorna!

  28. Exaggerations are meant to be more common in Latin cultures (“mamma mia !! “) , but in my last trip to the USA I did notice that lots of people go hyperbolic at the slightest provocation. Yes, turn it around: it’s fun to substitute with creative positive ways to comment mini “problems”, and benefits overall stress levels! thanks for the list : with practice, apply to real problems too…

  29. i would never exaggerate. I would just say a bad word.

  30. Funny post, Lorna! That’s quite a great sampling of “the worst ever” things. I found myself nodding yes! These are the worst ever! I think it’s fun to exaggerate and we are all (me but hardly you) so comfortable with it. I suppose it’s more fun than the boring truth.

  31. Well, yeah. None of us ever left junior high!

  32. You are right – the last few weeks of slow/no internet speed at our house was not the ‘worst’ thing ever. It kind of felt like it sometimes, but then we went to the funeral of a relative, and that put it all back into perspective.

Silence can be just what the doctor ordered. You know I'm a doctor, right?

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