I used to be thoroughly amused when people would (usually enthusiastically) provide me with unwarranted explanations or interjections in conversations about how they were ‘so happy,’ ‘completely fine with X,’ or (my very favourite!) that they were ‘so in love.’
Why would this amuse me so? Ah. I’m glad you might (didn’t) ask! It was because we all recognise these types of statements as painfully obvious lies, and these people are not fooling a damn soul. Most importantly these people are not fooling themselves, yet they continue to employ these practices perhaps in the hope that one day they will believe the words they say. I think the idea is that the more they speak these words and remain unchallenged – as most people would not and do not point out that these types of statements contradict with what they know and see, out of courtesy – perhaps the more ‘true’ they can become. It’s one of those peculiar social practices which always made me shake my head and laugh, even though I too would smile and nod to this nonsense.
Until very recently, these conversations made me feel superior in some way to those who would attempt to relay these natratives. This wasn’t very mature or kind of me. In fact, I think this says a lot about me that I am glad is no longer accurate.
Here is the issue, though. Far too many people who are close to me (friends, peers, and especially family) have been employing these practices at an increased frequency in recent years. It has gotten to a point that instead of amused or entertained, I feel pity now. The themes I can identify which induce said pity are denial, disappointment, or some sort of settling when one knows one can and ought to do better. It appears that the former is an attempted remedy for the latter two, although the three are unquestionably intertwined.
All of this leaves me feeling very sad, and as such I will no longer smile, nod, or otherwise actively or passively condone this practice.
So it is written. 🙃