I’m sure you’ve noticed that words have different meanings when they are said in a different tone. That’s one of the reasons that emails are not really a highly effective form of communication. The written or typed word leaves lots of room for interpretation.
The spoken word is catching up. I’ve noticed the word “interesting” is one of the words that contains myriad meanings in speech. It’s a catch-all word that people are using with increasing frequency.
For example, if someone asks you if you like something, you can respond with “that’s quite interesting.” It says nothing but it covers the base and you dodge the question.
Someone posits an idea and you say, “how interesting.” You may think it’s the dumbest idea you have ever heard, but “interesting” let’s you contribute without contributing. It’s sort of like charitable deductions on your taxes. If they ever added up the money people claimed they gave to charity, the churches and organizations listed would never need another dime.
People are using “interesting” to get off the commitment hook. They don’t have to engage when they use it and it keeps them on the sidelines of the conversation. It’s a great tool when used sparingly.
The genuine use of the word “interesting” is incomplete as well. When we authentically say something is interesting, it’s as though we are stating a fact. We aren’t. We’re stating an opinion.
I have a recommendation. I suggest that when you state that something is interesting, that you add the words “to me” to the end. This completes the word interesting and references it to you.
I don’t think anyone will ever define the word “interesting” because it is one of the most fluffy, elastic words in our language. But referencing it to you keeps it out of the world of fact and into the realm of opinion, where it truly belongs.
Many words can use a “to me” addendum. Here are a few to consider: Boring, ugly, pompous, selfish, funny, and sexy. The list is endless.
The telltale clue that you need “to me” is when you are about to make an assertion about someone or something. “He’s . . .” She’s . . .” “It’s . . .
“Facts,” even if they are baseless, bring up counter facts and off to the races you go – facting each other.
When you add “to me,” you take ownership of the assessment and don’t imply that everyone has to agree with you.
When you stop stating facts and start offering opinions, there is a lot more wiggle room in the conversation – room for something new to develop, rather than the same old stimulus/response that “facts” bring up.
Isn’t this interesting? It is to me.
All the best,
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