Ever uttered any of the phrases above? Hang on - ‘uttered’ isn’t right. If you’re a real person who 110% tells it like it because you’re not gonna lie you’re just being you, you don’t utter. You throw your statements with conviction - as you should with all that insight you have.
This post is about to get all opinion-y. Usually I just write about writing but today it's more about talking. It's me writing things about the things I've heard other people say.
I love language, of course - I'm a writer so I'm interested in the way people express themselves. And I have no desire to write about anyone's 'bad' grammar or 'bad' English because I don't see language in those terms.
What I'm writing about is this trend of making a really obvious claim about yourself and then glowing with pride about it. Mostly I don’t like this kind of talk because it can be used to excuse bad behaviour. But it also presents interaction – and people – in a black and white way. Not into that. But if you are, that’s cool. Just follow my guide to ensure you’re selecting the right banal statement for your needs.
‘I tell it like it is.’
Say this if... you've offended another human and need to justify it. ‘I'm just telling it like it is,’ you say. No - you're telling it as you see it. THIS IS NOT THE SAME THING.
‘I'm being real.’
Say this if... you believe you have a superpower: you, as a real person, have the ability to announce you are a real person. EVEN BETTER you can also spot a fake person. This is convenient because your world is divided into real people and fake people. (Nothing to do with automatons, unfortunately.)
‘I won't lie to you.’
Say this if… you like saying really ordinary things and making them sound controversial. ‘I won't lie to you: I don't like eggs.’ Great. And, in general, can’t we just always assume you won't lie to me?
‘That's just me.’
Say this if… you want to behave however you like, and you can, because 'That's just me'. Being yourself - I’m cool with that. But if you use the 'I'm just being me' excuse after you've been a dick, you need to add it on: ‘I'm just being me. And I'm a dick.'
Say this if… you know the word 'Yes' but it’s just not enough. You need to make sure people REALLY understand how much you mean ‘Yes’ so you use the faithful percentage measurement. And, not content with the world-wide accepted maximum of 100, you like to add some on. Bizarrely, it’ll either be just a bit: 110. Or fucking loads: a million.
Say this if… you want to appear like you're inviting people to disagree with you, but mostly you want to sound French. 'And this is what life is all about, no?' Eugh. Just no. As in NO.
Okay, those final two expressions are not as criminal. They’re habits. But the others display an absoluteness I’m suspicious of. They’re a sinister step up from ‘I’m mad, me!’, but at least the I’m-mads just want to be seen as interesting. The Tell-it-like-it-ises take pride in being twats, while simultaneously thinking they are astute. ‘I’m real, she’s fake’ and that sort of talk feeds into categorising personality types, which is limiting and finite. Be confusing; be confused about people. Explore the grey areas.