It is interesting that hyperbole is the daily word for today. I have been questioning the worth of hyperboles. Are they necessary? If so, then why?
This past Thursday, I was just sharing with a student how sleep deprived I felt that I was. I admitted that the last time I had some good sleep was before my son was born. As I was sharing that I, too, suffered from a lack of sleep, I questioned why am I agreeing with the need to just sleep my life away? Why am I using the phrase “I could sleep for a long time” when it is not true? Even when I worked nights, years ago, as a staff nurse at a local hospital, I could only sleep for 1-2 hours when I got home. Yes, I was tired, but I did not want to go to sleep during the day. That’s what nights were for. As you probably figured out, I did not work nights for long. There is a time for everything, and my body works well with its “master clock.”
If given the chance today, would I want to sleep my life away? The answer was and still is no, of course. I have so many things I still want to do, and I keep adding activities/events to my bucket list. Honestly, I have been trying to be more mindful of my thoughts and what I say. If I do not mean something, then why say it? It is a waste of energy and a waste of words, yet, I am sure I have used the phrase many times before, especially between the years of 2011-now.
Why do we feel the need to add excessive value to how we feel? With my statement of being tired, acknowledging that I was tired is one thing and to exaggerate is another. Let’s take another hyperbole. “I am so hungry, I can eat a horse.” Can I really? So, why exaggerate? Am I asking for the other person’s permission to go to sleep or to eat? What is my intention for using a hyperbole? To illicit compassion? Money? Food? love? Is it necessary to have others to empathize with me to take me seriously, or did I need the student to feel like she is not alone?
Sometimes when we are going through an ordeal, we think that we are the only one going through something. I usually tell my students they are not alone and can usually share a life changing story without getting to personal. I have to remember that even being quiet and just listening may be what the other person needs at that time especially instead of saying something I know is not true. Does the other person need to know how hungry I am or how sleepy I am? Not necessarily. Constantly feeling the need that one should quantify or quality statements for others to relate does not sound like a healthy habit. I need to change my ways.
I have been aware of another phrase for a very long time and this phrase is “say what you mean and mean what you say.” So, as we constantly evolve, we find out that some of the things we do, the words we say may conflict with something else we believe it or want to believe in. I need to be more true to the phrase “say what you mean and mean what you say” and stop saying things that are not true.
The more one says something, the more one tends to believe it. There is a known link between our beliefs and our actions (self-fulfilling prophecy). Again, as in the example above, I do not need to believe I am so tired. If anything, I need to believe that I am energetic and high on life.
I am guilty of using some hyperboles, and I confess. I need to stop using hyperboles, and just say what I mean, and mean what I say.