Last night I had the terrible misfortune of flying home while sitting across the aisle from two women who were “talking.” They literally talked for the entire 50 minutes it took to fly from Chicago to Columbus. It could only have been worse had the flight been longer.
It wasn’t their interminable talking that bothered me. It wasn’t even the inane and banal content of their chatter that bothered me so much. It was the incessant use of the word “like” that made me want to open the airplane door and hurl myself to my death, a death that would have been a sweet and welcome release.
The conversation went something like this: “And then she was all like . . . and I was like . . . and then it was like . . .” The reply, as best as I can remember, was: “I can’t, like, believe that she was like . . . I’d have been, like . . . ” And so on and so forth, ad nauseum.
Lest you believe I making too much of this, know that I tried to count the use of the word “like,” but I surrendered at a count of 53 somewhere just shy of the 6-minute mark.
The two participants, in what was not really a conversation at all, weren’t at all young, and so this isn’t something that can be overlooked or forgiven. I don’t have it in my heart to forgive them for the cruelness of subjecting me to such torture while I was trapped in an airplane.
But it did make me think of how we are all judged by our words and by how we speak.
You Are Being Judged By How You Speak
You are being judged by the words you use as well as the way that you speak. Your employer judges you. Your peers judge you. And your clients judge you. They are assessing your abilities by the manner in which you communicate.
Your choice of words, and the way in which you speak them ,can create confidence in your abilities. It can destroy confidence in your abilities. Your ability to communicate can also create or destroy trust. Your words can make you seem thoughtful and intelligent, or they can cause others to believe that you are shallow and unintelligent.
There is nothing more here than a warning: It’s important to be aware of how we sound to others and the message we may inadvertently send.
Are you aware of the words that you use and the manner in which you speak?
Do you ever judge other people by the way that they sound?
What kind of judgments do you make when you hear people using poor grammar?