Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Whatever! The Curse of Ambivalence

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It doesn't seem that long ago that the one word, concluding punctuation mark, 'whatever' entered the common lexicon. What would once have seemed abrupt in the extreme became the deflection of choice for a generation. Any conversation that needed immediate termination could be executed with the briefest of eye brow raise and the barely audible 'whatever'.

Like a Seinfeld comedy sketch a whole generation embraced this 'in-joke'. What might once have appeared rude or condescending became a rallying call flavored in irony for the apathetic and ambivalent.

Catch phrases act to bond like minded people. A tipping point is reached with inter-generational and cross cultural participation. Suddenly everything is 'whatever'. Debate and rational analysis default to 'whatever'

The interesting thing to me is this: If that little voice in our head that guides our impulses starts to mutter the 'whatever' mantra, that's when the curse of ambivalence kicks in. Ambivalence is the 'devil may care' attitude that abdicates all responsibility for our actions and consequentally our results.

We all have a couple of throw away phrases that we catch ourselves repeating. We sometimes pick up on the repetitive aphorisms of others. 'I'm such an idiot'. 'Life's a bitch' 'S**t happens' (**LOL!) 'Whatever'

Listen to yourself and notice whether your language is tilted toward the enthusiastic or the ambivalent. Ultimately (side bar; my least favorite word) our self talk defines our attitude to life and it's worth the occasional pause to reflect on the phrases we use and how they impact on our lives.

What do you reckon? Let me guess. WHATEEEEEEVER!

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1 comment:

Karen Hutton said...

I do hereby swear on my Golden Retriever's life that I shall NEVER, EVER, utter the word "Whatever" again :) Great post, Kieran