I am so over you.
Other wise people whom I respect (including Motherless Daughters author Hope Edelman, in an interview on The Happiness Project author Gretchen Rubin’s blog) take issue with your cousin “It is what it is,” which I agree is overused. But you, “whatever,” you annoy me through and through—even my mitochondria get irked when I hear you invoked.
And I’m not the only one who feels this way: a Marist College poll has found that Americans rank “whatever” the single most annoying phrase for several years running.
I think that people say “whatever” thinking it makes them sound breezy and easy-going. But what I hear when someone says it is: I can’t be bothered to engage with you, don’t have the energy to think for myself, or really really need to talk about this particular topic but I’m too scared.
“Whatever” is the antithesis of mindfulness. It signifies shutting down and tuning out.
(It’s also the source of many entertaining definitions on Urban Dictionary.)
I invite, no, challenge, anyone who has let this gremlin of a word worm its way in to your vocabulary to start noticing how much and in what types of situations you use it. I’m guessing that you’ll find it helps you pinpoint situations where you could stand to shine the light of awareness on how you’re really feeling. Maybe you always say whatever when you’re deciding to eat something crappy, or when your boyfriend asks you what you feel like doing that night, or when you’re talking about anything remotely emotionally troubling.
Let “whatever” be a clue that you need to take a deep breath and look a little deeper inside yourself and see what you truly need in that exact moment. I’m willing to wager it’s not actually “whatever.”
What’s your least favorite phrase?
What do you wish you could banish from the English language, and why? Leave a comment, and if I publish your thoughts in the next Vegimental I’ll send you a copy of What We Say Matters by Ike and Judith Lassater.
One more meditation Q&A
MsMindbody member Be wrote in with a question:
“Can you meditate more than once a day? Can you find two minutes here, two minutes there, and just do it? Or does it have to be just once, whatever length of time you have? It’s very hard for me to find time to do it and I really want to meditate. I NEED to disconnect and just be with myself, so, can I do it that way?”
There are no dumb questions! You can totally meditate more than once a day. Some meditation is always better than none, and more is always better than a little. So if you find that a couple minutes here and a couple minutes there are working for you, go with it!
Don’t totally write off longer sessions though–I find that it often takes 5 or 10 minutes for me to settle down and really get into a zone where I don’t feel like I’m getting distracted every two seconds. Perhaps you can let your shorter sessions inspire you that yes, you actually are able to sit for longer periods of time. Good luck and happy travels!
Take care and keep breathing,