Hyperbole is the best thing ever!

March 21, 2017

 

We live in hyperbolic times. It's everywhere. Politics immediately comes to mind: the GREATEST wall you have EVER seen; the WORST president ever; the BEST president ever; healthcare that is SO much better, SO MUCH better, SO MUCH BETTER; NO new taxes; two cars in EVERY garage and a chicken in EVERY pot!

 

But it's not new and it's not just politics. Look at the ads on your TV, news feed or social media: the TOP 3 diet foods; the 10 FUNNIEST bloopers; the MOST commonly overlooked causes of mold; the BEST way to care for your baby. And on it goes. Every headline hawks the biggest, the best, the funniest, the most shocking, incredible, horrifying, you-won't-believe-what-they-are-doing-now!!!!! When much of the information we absorb and digest these days is online, and information is sourced by so many more providers than 10, 20, 30 or 50 years ago, you find yourself inundated with copy that screams at you in virtual three-inch headlines. Long ago, that was a rare indication that something or some news was truly important. Now, it seems, everything is treated as important. Consequently, nothing is. It's all blather, but we haven't learned that truth yet. And, yet we still react on some subliminal level to something that sounds important.

 

And that's not all; what do we say to ourselves? Omigod, I am the WORST friend. My partner is the BEST ever. I should NEVER have taken this job -- I'm in way over my head. My boyfriend would KILL me if he found out I was out with my girlfriends. EVERYONE says this is the hottest restaurant in town. I am so DISGUSTED with this body of mine. 

 

Clearly, all this extreme language cannot be true. By definition, only one thing can be the best or the worst or the most, etc. But beyond the obvious extremes, listen for other extreme language. Listen to what you say to yourself, about others and about yourself. Be on the lookout for "worst," "most," "disgusting," "ever," "best," "always," "perfect,"  Listen to the language of hyperbole. Notice your own self-talk. And, if it's extreme, check yourself! 

 

(Oh, and just for fun, here's a link to the best t-shirt ever!)

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