I was thinking this morning that we live in a pretty amazing world, one in which we are attracted to folks like us and also to those who have unique qualities from us.
I believe we are alike in that we all have quirky things---mine just might be different from yours.
Take, for example, my love for books. Yes, I adore reading a great novel and love digging in to a really intense mystery. But it is something deeper (and perhaps a bit odder) that I am describing. I love the smell of books. I cannot ever see myself switching to a Kindle or any type of e-reader (until, of course, they perfect the art of adding "book scent" to it).
My love for the scent of books is so well-known, several grade levels made fun of that quality when I resigned from my principalship at an elementary school in 2012.
I even received a video, today, from a dear friend, in which she had her kids sniff books in honor of me, while asking each other to smell the book. My response? "Well, don't keep me in suspense! What does it smell like?!"
In communicating, we tend to have habits and quirks, as well.
A few years ago, after I finished teaching a workshop in Tennessee, a participant remarked to my colleague that I said, "My thing is..." several times. I didn't realize it until he pointed it out, but it was true. I would be talking about something and then, to emphasize the importance of it, I would say something like, "My thing is...I believe we need to communicate better if we expect to build relationships." My colleague (and dear friend) responded to the participant by saying, "I'm sure she will appreciate that feedback, since we all 'have things'. What is 'your thing'?" I'll give him credit---he actually said, "Good point. I guess we all do have 'things'."
I have a friend who, when she presents, says, "Here's the deal..." even though she isn't really going to make a deal with anyone. It's just a habit she has formed in public speaking.
Like any good 12-step program, the first step in dealing with an issue is recognizing that the issue exists. I can happily say I have cut down my "My thing is..." to a negligible if not non-existent status.
What about those common words or phrases that so many people mis-say?
For example, do you say any of these:
a. supposably instead of supposedly?
b. ex cetera instead of et cetera?
c. I'm going to lay down instead of I'm going to lie down?
Just for today, perhaps we can try to figure out what our "thing" is and, if it bugs you enough, perhaps make strides to eliminate it or at least cut down on its use.
Happy communicating!! My thing is....I think we need good communication! :)